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Recycling problems trouble Palestine

EAST PALESTINE — Village officials are fed up with an overflow of recycling at the bins on South Walnut Street behind village hall.

During this week’s council meeting, Councilman Flay Stewart said something needed to be done about the amount of materials being dropped off, as it is becoming problematic. The 11 recycling bins are owned by the Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison Solid Waste District.

Councilman Alan Cohen said he noticed five or six cars lined up to the use the recycling bins recently and they were already filled.

“Part of the problem might well be that there is just no place to put (it),” Cohen said.

He pointed out that CSI Environmental has suspended its recycling pickup as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which could explain the influx of materials.

“If you take away the dumpsters you’re going to have a whole town that has no way to recycle anything,” Cohen said, referring to the recycling bins.

Councilman Mark Walker said he understood, but that he believed it was “irresponsible” for people to leave their recycling on the ground next to the bins when they are full.

Stewart said there are video cameras set up to monitor the bins and that he spoke with Police Chief Jim Brown III earlier in the day and was told that the department would look into the problem.

Walker said he has noticed vehicles with out-of-state license plates using the bins on several occasions and that several people are leaving non-recyclable material there as well.

“We need to make an example out of who is doing this — fine them, do whatever — this is getting ridiculous,” Councilman Doug Simpson said.

Village Manager Mark McTrustry said he would also reach out to the police department to see if the detective in charge is able to identify anyone using the bins improperly.

Only aluminum and metal cans, plastic bottles and jugs, carton containers, cardboard and paper (such as office or newspaper) can be dropped off at the bins. Glass bottles and jars are not accepted.

McTrustry said he would look into having a conversation with the owner of the company to see if additional bins could be placed temporarily around the holidays to deal with the influx of materials.

Stewart and Walker also said something needed to be done about trash piling up at City Lake and the corner of East Taggart and James streets by the former Compco building.

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