EAST PALESTINE - A curbside recycling program in the village is coming together.
Council members heard from Lisa Hamner, of CSI Environmental and Chris Jacobs of the tri-county Solid Waste District this week on how the program will benefit the village. Hamner had first tossed the idea to council in June, and at that time the seated members said they would like to hear from Jacobs before approving anything.
Jacobs said that if implemented, the village will be the first in the county to take advantage of the non-franchised curbside recycling program.
He explained the district will purchase 18-gallon recycling bins for the village and the bins will then be distributed to interested haulers who will make them available to their customers. The haulers will pick up the recyclables at no cost to participating residents.
He said the district is able to purchase the bins through additional money it has available this year.
"We wanted to use (the funding) on capital, one-time expenses such as recycling bins," he said.
If the program works in East Palestine, the district intends to work with other municipalities to incorporate similar programs, he said.
He told council members that letters were sent to all available haulers in Columbiana, Carroll and Harrison counties to generate interest, but only one, CSI Environmental, has decided to participate so far.
Councilman Fran Figley asked Hamner why the company chose to participate since it wouldn't be charging its customers for the service.
She said that although it does cost the company money to offer the free service, it's "the right thing to do."
"Not only are you saving resources by recycling you are saving landfill space. You keep dumping all this crap in a landfill and it fills up and doesn't have to," she said.
Jacobs agreed, and noted that the waste district was formed in 1988 in order to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills. He added that a benefit for the haulers is they won't have to pay for the recycling bins, which will feature a serial number and be the property of the participating municipality. Two bins will be provided to participating residents, one for fiber recyclables and the other for plastic and glass.
The bins will be "tailored" to specify they belong to the village and could feature a Bulldog logo, or simply say "East Palestine," he said.
Roughly 4,000 bins, estimated to cost $40,000, will be given to the village and CSI will pick up the recyclables once a week should the village decide to participate.
Bins will be available to all residents in the village, but CSI will only pick up recyclables for its own customers, he noted. Residents wishing to participate in the program who are not CSI customers would need to switch haulers if theirs is not participating in the program.
Councilman Don Elzer said the program will help alleviate the amount of stuff going into the recycling bins located at the municipal parking lot. The municipal bins will still be available for use, however.
Hamner noted that there is currently no legislation in the county in which it is mandatory for residents to recycle.
"We are just trying to get people to recycle," she said.
Elzer made a motion the village look into the program and all but Figley approved. Later in the meeting Figley explained he wasn't against recycling but felt the village needs to focus on other things first.