By SARA BRUMFIELD Athens Messenger staff journalist
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The Athens-Hocking Solid Waste District has been awarded a grant to expand recycling to rural parts of the two counties.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has awarded the district $45,000 through its Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention Community Development Grant Program to place drop-off recycling sites throughout the two counties.
According to Roger Bail, operations coordinator at the Athens-Hocking Solid Waste District, the money will be paired with $24,324 in local funds to purchase nine drop-off containers in various communities in Athens and Hocking Counties.
The district offers curb-side recycling services for Athens, Logan and other communities, but not in the more rural regions of the counties. Bail said some communities have drop-off trailers that are left there for about a week, while other communities have recycling opportunities only for a few hours once a month.
“We want to have a more permanent place for people to recycle,” Bail said.
The receptacles would likely sort recyclables into containers (glass and plastic), mixed paper and cardboard/paperboard. Currently, the recycling centers for Hocking and Athens Counties do not have the capacity to sort these items. Bail said the items may have to be taken outside of the district to be processed.
If processing occurs elsewhere, the Athens-Hocking Solid Waste District will not receive the revenue from the materials, but the district will get credit from the EPA for collecting them.
According to Kyle O’Keefe, waste stream development organizer at Rural Action, the district has an 8.8 percent recycling rate, which is below the EPA’s recommendation. He said the new drop-off centers will help the district increase its percentage.
O’Keefe, who wrote the grant for the drop-off centers, is working with the district to reduce waste and bring more revenue to Athens and Hocking Counties.
The district will accept the grant in July and will then go through a bidding process to purchase the recycling containers. O’Keefe said the district is working to identify good locations for the containers. He expects the containers to be in place by the end of August.
O’Keefe said the district was also awarded a grant to purchase $2,000 in litter cleanup equipment.