Yearly cleanup a good perk

The City of Steubenville continues to try to save money on services it provides to its residents, but we’re not sure the latest proposed cut has to happen.

The city’s annual large item pickup refuse collection that begins Saturday is proposed by the city to be the last.

This annual rite of spring brings a chance for residents to dispose of just about anything that can be lugged out to the curb, including furniture, some appliances and boxes filled with all kinds of stuff from basements and attics. The cleanup also brings with it scavengers who drive through neighborhoods ahead of the cleanup, often removing more items than are left to be picked up.

City Manager Cathy Davison says the city cannot afford to run the cleanup anymore because of the expense involved.

We’d say that’s an expedient solution, but, as has been the case with many other cost-cutting measures that later were dismissed, the city probably can study this a bit more and come up with a better solution.

The cleanup doesn’t mean the city is truly any cleaner by a long shot. Anyone who drives down certain streets will see large items sitting at the curb or on the sidewalk for weeks on end. It’s not as if collection occurs simply because it might be good for the community. We’re not just thinking of trash in vacant lots here, but items laid at the curb and left there for months on end. Those items are a detraction for residents and business in the community.

But the cleanup has been an expected convenience for residents who pay for the city to collect their trash.

It at least means residents are getting some perceived bang for their buck.

The city is proposing replacing the cleanup with a pay-as-you-go service for big items, with monthly pickups to occur.

We’d say there are efficiencies that may exist in the system, such as picking up items as they’re placed out with the regular collection, without any additional fees involved. That is the case in some other surrounding communities that seem to get the work done on a daily and weekly basis as well as holding an annual big-item pickup.

Such a system might also alleviate the junk-at-the-curb problem that exists in some areas.