Lancaster Police Chief Joins Staff in Ongoing City Cleanup

man picking up garbage
Lancaster Police Chief Urbanski. Photo by RITA COOK

LANCASTER – Last week while driving down Pleasant Run Road I stopped my Jeep and took a second look.

What was the Lancaster Police Chief doing picking up trash on the side of the road?

I had to stop and ask Chief Samuel Urbanski that question.

“This is the perfect opportunity to see the city from a different perspective,” he graciously told me as he walked down one of the main thoroughfares in the city of Lancaster and I followed.

“It really makes you appreciate everything that goes into keeping a city like Lancaster a great place to live and work,” he added.

Urbanski and other top management staff are cleaning up the city streets “one piece at a time,” he said.

The Directors from each department were out last Friday and according to Lancaster City Manager Opal Mauldin-Jones they will be out cleaning the streets again this Friday.

The cleanup began as a reaction to a request from City Council to keep the streets clean.
Mauldin-Jones said “Our City Council meetings have town hall meetings, and each council member holds their own meeting. For the last six weeks at all the town hall meetings someone, or multiple people, have asked what we are doing about litter in our community.”

Cleaning the Streets One Thoroughfare At a Time

Last Friday Urbanski was doing a length of road on Pleasant Run from I-35 to Jefferson.

After speaking to him I drove up the road a few blocks and found Mauldin-Jones picking up litter as well.

She said there would be a different road to cleanup every Friday through at least December.

“We are starting on Pleasant Run and next Friday we are going to head to Bear Creek and just keep going on all our major thoroughfares,” she explained.

The City of Lancaster has a litter company that picks up litter on all the city’s major thoroughfares every morning Monday to Friday. However, littering continues to be an ongoing issue.

“As you can see the litter company picked up this morning at 6 a.m. and I already have a half bag,” she added. That included a pie pan and a garage door opener in the bag of trash.

What can Residents Do to Help?

The City of Lancaster has an adopt-a-spot program that anyone can become involved in to keep the city clean. In fact, the city provides trash bags, gloves, and safety vests for residents or even businesses wanting to do their part.

“We provide these resources to anyone who wants to adopt-a-spot,” Mauldin-Robertson explained. “After someone does this for 30 days or more, we designate the area and put a sign up with their name on it. Every month when they go out to do their cleanup, we give them all the resources.”

The City Manager added that this ongoing Friday project for senior staff is about doing something about the litter in the community. She said they are also in the process of coming up with a Lancaster litter slogan. With the goal to remind people that throwing trash on the roadways is a bad idea.

“My chief and all the team said we will just start it and hope that people pick up and want to continue it,” Mauldin-Jones concluded.