Residents asked to separate recyclables
Aug 2, 2023
Columbiana County citizens need to start separating their recyclables and paying attention to these stickers, which signify what recyclables can go into each dumpster at the various sites operated by the Carroll Columbiana Harrison Solid Waste District. Only the items shown on each sticker can be put in the corresponding dumpster. About half of the sites have the new stickers so far. (Photo by Mary Ann Greier)
LISBON — In an effort to reduce garbage and prohibited items dumped at area recycling sites, citizens are being asked to separate their recyclables and only put them in the proper dumpster.
If the item doesn’t match what’s described on the label, it doesn’t belong in the dumpster.
“We don’t want our recyclables contaminated,” Carroll Columbiana Harrison Solid Waste District Director Missy Burchfield said.
For many years, residents could put all their paper products, newspapers, cardboard, plastic bottles, aluminum or metal cans and glass bottles and jars all together in the same dumpster.
Due to the sites looking like garbage dumps and problems with improper items being left in the containers, or beside, in front of or behind them, Burchfield said the decision was made to have residents separate their items. No more co-mingling of paper, glass, plastic, metal or cardboard.
The district received a $40,000 education outreach grant last year from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the new labels to place on the containers. The label change was completed in Carroll County and now the work is about half done in Columbiana County.
The five categories for recyclables are cardboard, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and jugs, aluminum and steel cans, and paper.
Cardboard can include any type of box, food boxes such as cereal or crackers, tissue boxes with the plastic removed, toilet paper or paper towel rolls — pretty much any cardboard. The boxes must be dry, broken down and without any food residue or food contact.
At one time the district stopped taking glass, but Burchfield said that’s not the case anymore. Clean, dry, empty glass bottles and jars can be placed in the glass only container. No windows are allowed and no glass from picture frames are permitted. No light bulbs either.
Plastic bottles and jugs, such as water bottles, pop bottles or milk jugs that are clean, dry and empty can be placed in the plastic container. No plastic toys or furniture are permitted. And no plastic hangers.
Aluminum and steel cans must be clean, dry and empty.
No shredded paper is allowed, but newspapers, office paper, junk mail, magazines, paper bags and even books, both soft cover and hard cover, can be recycled in the container marked paper. Items should be clean and dry.
All of the signs say no plastic bags or garbage bags, even the ones that haven’t been changed over to the new labels, yet plastic bags and garbage bags containing who knows what appear in the dumpsters. Burchfield said people aren’t paying attention.
Recently someone dumped several golf bags next to dumpsters at the Salem recycling site. Mattresses and furniture have been illegally dumped at sites, too. In a recent Lisbon police report, a caller reported a man dumping a bunch of brush and sticks in the containers. That’s not allowed either. Police managed to track him down, he apologized and said he would remove the brush and sticks.
“Read the signs and obey. It’s not hard,” Burchfield said, adding if there’s any doubt, throw the questionable item in the trash, not in the recycling dumpsters.
In order to change the labels, the weather needs to be hot so the old ones will peel off, so it’s taking some time to make the switch. For residents whose dumpster signs haven’t been changed to the new labels, keep in mind that the separation of recyclables is coming.
“The true recyclers are liking the idea,” she said.
Part of the problem is the cost the district must pay the processing centers for the loads from the recycling sites, especially if the loads are contaminated with garbage or non-recyclables. Previously the cost was $35 per ton, but now the cost ranges from $70 per ton at Ohio Valley to $93.75 per ton at Kimble.
The district relies on a fee of $3.50 per ton from landfills for income to operate the recycling program.
“If everybody would recycle right, our costs wouldn’t be as high as they are,” Burchfield said.
Columbiana County has 47 sites when counting the schools and the various townships and communities. Both Salem and Leetonia sites have the new labels on the containers. Information about the new labels can be found on the district’s Facebook page.
She noted that the district accepts electronic recycling at the new district headquarters located at 1130 Cobbler Road NE, Carrollton. Just call and set up an appointment at 330-596-5000. Questions about recycling can also be answered by calling the number.
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