Green Team OKs curbside recycling

STEBENVILLE – A trial curbside recycling program was approved by the JB Green Team board of trustees Monday night for neighborhoods in Steubenville and Martins Ferry.

The trustees approved the purchase of a side loader packer and 800 plastic recycling containers for the trial program that is expected to last from six months to a year.

JB Green Team Executive Director Cliff Meyer said the trial program will not require additional drivers.

He said he anticipates the curbside recycling trial program will start later this year after the truck and containers are purchased.

“We are looking at approximately 400 trial customers in each city,” he noted.

“Our goals during the trial period will be to determine the true cost of the collections, evaluate community support for curbside collections and what cost savings are possible for the community. We will also be determining if the project should be expanded to other towns and cities and what is the optimal size of the community to be successful with the curbside recycling,” Meyer told the trustees.

“We were already told by former Steubenville City Manager Cathy Davison that the Buena Vista neighborhood residents were very interested in a curbside recycling program. We plan to have a side loader packer here Monday that will allow our employees to drive the truck through that neighborhood to determine how the route will work,” Meyer continued.

Martins Ferry Mayor Paul Riethmiller said he welcomed the chance for a trial curbside recycling program in his city.

And Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci said, “I truly believe recycling is the way of the future, and the program can save the city money on tipping fees at the local landfill. But it will also take an education component.”

In other business during the three-hour meeting:

Meyer received unanimous approval to pursue legal action against the Apex Sanitary Landfill for delinquent late tipping fees.

“We have received a copy of a letter sent by the assistant director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to the Apex Sanitary Landfill manager supporting us in our ongoing attempts to recover the $68,000 in late tipping fee fines.

Fiscal Officer Dave Hays has said the landfill is up to date with its monthly tonnage tipping fees but has not paid the late fees from last year when the landfill didn’t pay its monthly fees on time.

The trustees approved plans to establish a litter enforcement program in Jefferson and Belmont counties.

Meyer said he has talked to court and law enforcement officials in Belmont County and plans to meet with Jefferson County officials in the near future.

“I am looking for enforcement support from the courts, we will promote community enforcement, hire a deputy sheriff in each county and purchase a vehicle and necessary equipment,” said Meyer.

He also said he would like to see litter violators be listed by name in the newspaper along with their photo.

– The trustees discussed concerns regarding the solid waste transfer station in Belmont County.

“I have received a number of complaints about long lines at the transfer station, and I know we are losing tonnage from that station. If any trash is taken there it should be our trash and not outside trash. If the transfer station owners don’t want to work with us then we should look at establishing rules and regulations in our solid waste plan,” stated Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland.

Meyer said the transfer station is accepting oil and gas drilling operations solidification material that is being transported to the Apex Sanitary Landfill.

– The board agreed to adjust the salary of the Belmont County program director to bring her wages in line with the Jefferson County program director.

– The board approved a 7.9 percent annual pay raise for Meyer and extended his contract to 2015.