Ohio recycling site popular with WV residents dumped
IRONTON — Recycling services will return to residents of Lawrence and Scioto counties in Ohio by Jan. 2, but not at the popular site at the Sam’s Club and Walmart parking lot in the Burlington area, according to Dan Palmer, director of the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District.
Under a contract signed earlier this month, the solid waste district is reducing the number of sites and recycling bins in the two counties from 38 and 94 to 30 and 76, Palmer told the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
Prior to a disruption in service earlier this year when Republic Services stopped providing recycling service because it was losing money, the solid waste district had 10 recycling containers at the Sam’s and Walmart parking lot. Those containers were emptied three times a week, Palmer said.
A number of Huntington-area residents were crossing the Ohio River to use the recycling bins due to the high costs of recycling in Huntington, Palmer said. Property owners in Lawrence and Scioto counties pay an annual $16 fee to cover the cost of their recycling service.
“People abused it,” Palmer said of the recycling service in the Burlington area. Some people dumped trash in the recycling bins.
“It’s been plagued by people from West Virginia,” he said. Palmer asked West Virginia residents to recycle “in your own site.”
Solid waste district officials were in the Burlington area nearly every day keeping it cleaned up, Palmer said. That kept district officials from cleaning up trash along county roads in Lawrence and Scioto counties.
A new container site will be added at the Burlington-Fayette Township Fire Department to serve Burlington area residents, Palmer said. “We will have cameras at the site” to prosecute abusers of the recycling service, he said.
The district also is eliminating recycling bins at Ironton Middle School and at a site in the Chesapeake school district, he said.
Rumpke submitted the only bid for recycling services in 2019, but it was about $200,000 higher than the solid waste district was paying to maintain 38 recycling sites in the two counties (17 in Lawrence County and 21 in Scioto County).
Palmer negotiated with Rumpke to get the costs down to about $100,000 more than the prior contract. The solid waste district accepted paper, aluminum cans, steel cans and plastic bottles at the sites in recent years.
Meanwhile, the district will install cigarette butt disposal bins at several sites in downtown Ironton, Palmer said. The bins will come from the Keep America Beautiful campaign.