Problems like people dumping mattresses dominated discussions during the monthly board meeting of Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful.
Volunteers with a Student Life camp that had been visiting Lee University recently assisted the organization by cleaning up the yards of properties that had been littered with large amounts of debris.
Criss Caywood, a Cleveland Police Department codes enforcement officer, said the group of teenagers had done an “excellent” job helping with properties on Wildwood Avenue and Wildwood Lake Road.
However, board members also discussed other instances of properties presenting environmental concerns.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said one problem he has been made aware of lately has been the dumping of refuse in the city — including large items like mattresses.
Caywood said people will often dump the remnants of old mattresses that are left over after people take out the metal springs.
“Word’s gotten out that they can get money for those springs,” Caywood said.
Some homeowners will put old mattresses out on the curb for city garbage pickup, and some of those mattresses have been found ripped apart on the curb. He said some people have taken metal springs from those mattresses and left homeowners and those who do the garbage pickup to deal with the mess.
Caywood explained some thieves have also stolen air-conditioning units and electrical wiring to get scrap metal to sell. Multiple air-conditioning thefts have taken place, he said, and someone recently broke into a building on South Lee Highway and “completely stripped” it of its wiring.
Board member Debbie Millard said the issue hit close to home for her, because her father has been a victim of an air-conditioner theft.
Both Rowland and Caywood said they would be looking at ways to remedy those issues, and they would keep the board updated.
Board President Shari Horton also announced the most recent recipients of the local Keep America Beautiful chapter’s monthly Business Beautification Award, which recognizes businesses and other organizations for keeping their properties “beautiful” and clean.
The Tri-State Exhibition Center received the award for the month of July, and the August award is set to go to Waterville Baptist Church.
The group has also finalized the date for its biannual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. It is schedule for Nov. 1 at the Tri-State Exhibition Center.
Two upcoming events have been planned to clean up around Bradley County. On Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon, there will be a cleanup of the Blythe Avenue area in partnership with Impact Cleveland.
On Sept. 13, there will be a cleanup event in Charleston to help clear the area ahead of the International Cowpea Festival.
For more information, visit www.clevelandbradleykab.com.