Recycling efforts in Mahoning County undermined by well-meaning customers

Recycling is free in Mahoning County, and customers can choose to have items picked up curbside

recycling generic


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Recycling is free in Mahoning County. Customers can choose to have items picked up curbside or they can be taken to several drop-off locations around the county.

The program has been around for more than 25 years, but the hurdle for the recycling team, and one that is growing larger, is that customers put the wrong items in their bins.

Misplaced items end up costing the recycling organization money. Kim Lewis, an environmental educator, said she knows people want to do good when they recycle, but sometimes their efforts end up causing harm.

“When materials aren’t prepared properly at the source, they end up at the material recovery facility for processing and problems arise,” Lewis said.

Mahoning County’s recycling program is specific. It can’t take all items that are marked recyclable. The facility isn’t prepared to handle all of those items such as things like plastic bags.

“It says recyclable, but not in our program. When this ends up at the processing site, it gets wrapped around the machinery and clogs everything up,” Lewis said.

Other problems include Styrofoam, certain types of plastic, and things that have leftover food or grease on them.

“Pizza boxes normally have a greasy residue on them, so you can’t put that in the bin. If it doesn’t have a greasy residue, then you might want to reexamine that,” Lewis said.

It’s important to know what you can and can’t recycle. Sending the wrong items costs the program money. They wind up wasting resources sorting or fixing the damage caused by contamination.

“We can reduce contamination at the source and lower out costs because I think there is something better we can do with that money than address contamination issues,” Lewis said.

Recycling bins are clearly marked with information on what items are accepted. More information about what items are accepted and drop off locations can found on the Mahoning County Green Team website.

.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s