MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP – Residents in Mad River Township will soon have a drop-off recycling location where they can bring newspapers, cardboard, plastic bottles and other items that will be recycled and on their way to a new life.
Mad River Township trustees unanimously approved a one-year contract during the March 20 meeting with the Clark County Solid Waste District to provide a local recycling drop-off location. The vote came after Chuck Bauer, Director of the Clark County Utilities and Solid Waste District, explained how the district would operate the recycling site, at no cost to the township.
“The Clark County Solid Waste District is leading this effort and has negotiated with Rumpke Waste and Recycling for this service,” Bauer said. “The township has the option to opt out of the contract at any time if any problems developed with this service.”
According to Township Trustee President Kathy Estep, the township recycling drop-off location, which is scheduled to open in April, would help the solid waste district meet recycling mandates imposed by the Ohio Environmental Protective Agency. The recycling drop-off site will be located behind the township’s maintenance garage, known to residents as the former e-check testing facility, located at 7952 Dayton-Springfield Road. Residents will enter and exit the site from Snider Road.
Bauer said plans are underway for the solid waste district to place four, open-front recycling bins at the township location that will resemble trash dumpsters. However, the bins will be marked with a recycling symbol, denoting that they are for recyclable materials only. Three bins will be allocated for typical recyclable items, such as newspapers, magazines, catalogs, giftwrap, phone books and office paper. Tin and aluminum cans, glass beverage bottles, glass food jars and plastic containers will be accepted as well. These three bins will be serviced by Rumpke Waste and Recycling on a weekly basis and more often if necessary.
“We will have a number of signs posted that will provide a better visual representation of how to recycle correctly,” Bauer said.
The fourth bin will be earmarked for only paperboard and cardboard and will be serviced by the county solid waste district. Clark County Jail inmates, who participate in the PRIDE (Providing Responsibility for Inmates through Duties for the Environment) program will bail the paperboard and cardboard at the Clark County Solid Waste District headquarters on West Main Street in Springfield. The bailed materials will then be sent to Pratt Industries, a company located in Springfield that uses 100 percent recycled paper and packaging in the manufacturing of corrugated packaging.
“This partnership with Pratt Industries puts recyclable materials back into our community, and the district is supporting a Clark County business, as well as the inmates who learn a positive work ethic and gain a lot of pride giving back to the community,” Bauer said. “The solid waste district also receives the money for the recyclable paperboard and cardboard.”
Once the drop-off recycling site is established in the township, the solid waste district is asking residents to follow certain guidelines. Foremost, place recyclable items loose in the bins. It is a common habit among people to group cans, bottles, and paper products in plastic bags and then toss the bags into the recycling bin. However, these items are then identified as non-recyclables during the sorting process.
“An optical scanner is used to sort the recyclables materials, and it reads a plastic bag as an unrecyclable item. It then shoots a jet of air to blow the plastic bag and it contents off the conveyor belt and into a trash collection bin,” Bauer said. “You can hear a steady stream of these rapid bursts of air picking off different non-recyclable items and sending them flying off the conveyor belt.”
Bauer pointed out that plastic containers should not flatten for the same reason, including milk jugs, water or soda bottles, salad dressing bottles, or laundry and dishwashing containers. Less flattened plastic containers are more likely to be sorted properly and sent to their intended place.
“We are trying to make the recycling process as easy as possible,” said Bauer. “We want this to work well.”
The director said many people remain confused about what can and cannot be recycled. He also noted that it is important for residents to prepare the items properly for recycling, including emptying all liquids and food residues from containers and removing lids from metal cans.
Items that are not allow at the township recycling site include any type of garbage, yard waste, styrofoam, motor oil, automotive parts, paint, solvents, plastic bags, electronics, lawn care products, chemicals, batteries, any type of tires, video tapes and pots or pans. In addition, the district does not accept drinking glasses, dishes, ceramics, mirrors, window glass, light bulbs or any broken glass.
The Clark County Solid Waste District incurs additional costs when non-recyclables have to be hauled from a recycling location to a landfill, according to Bauer. Therefore, those who are caught dumping non-recyclable items at the township drop-off recycling location are subject to prosecution, in accordance with Ohio Revised Code.
“These bins will be available for typical recyclable items that residents usually separate from their trash,” Estep added. “We want to make sure our recycling efforts render good results.”
For a list of recyclable items that will be accepted at the township site, visit the Clark County Solid Waste District at http://www.32trash.org/Recycling/recycle.html.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.