Recycling program questions addressed

WELLSBURG – Officials with the Brooke County Solid Waste Authority have responded to questions about its recent removal of several bins for recyclable materials.

Ken Fletcher, a Wellsburg resident, asked the Brooke County Commission Tuesday about the matter, noting the commission was advised last week of the change.

County Commissioner Jim Andreozzi said the board is awaiting grants to continue its recycling program but currently lacks funds due in part to the uenxpected bankruptcy of one of its vendors.

Becky Harlan, recycling coordinator, said the board will continue to accept tin, aluminum, paper and No. 1 or 2 plastics at its recycling center in Beech Bottom between 8 a.m. and noon weekdays.

The center is near the Brooke County Animal Shelter on Mac Barnes Drive off state Route 2.

“We can still accept everything we had before,” she said.

Harlan said the board regrets asking residents to bring their recyclables there but can’t afford at this time to transport material from the six bins it had placed in Follansbee, Wellsburg and Bethany.

“We’re hoping it’s just a temporary inconvenience. We hate that we have to do it that way,” she said.

Harlan said the board has applied for two grants to continue the programs: One for $20,000 from the state Solid Waste Management Board and another for $116,000 from the state Department of Environmental Protection Recycling Assistance program.

“If the grant funds come in the way we hope they will, we should be able to continue (the various collection points),” Harlan said.

She expects to learn in August how much of the first grant has been awarded by the state SWMB but won’t know until November how much of the state DEP grant has been awarded.

Harlan said the board has depended on such grants to continue the program.

She said the board fell short of the needed funds due in part to rising fuel costs and also because a local vendor that had accepted its recyclables is no longer doing business.

Harlan said the board continues to do business with Valley Converting of Toronto, which accepts its paper; All-American Recycling of Colliers, which accepts metals; and Greenstar Recycling of Pittsburgh, which accepts plastics.

She said one of the board’s two part-time employees has agreed to take time off until the board has funds to continue the collection points.

County Commissioner Jim Andreozzi said there are plans to meet with city officials to see if the cities can help with the program. He said the county lacks the funds to help.

Commission President Tim Ennis said interest in the program is strong, with some residents requesting curbside collection of recyclables, but that’s not financially feasible.

Andreozzi said he hopes a more central location can be established for residents to drop off their recyclables, if only temporarily.

Harlan was asked if the board may resort to establishing just one permanent drop-off point, as the Hancock County Solid Waste Authority has done. She said that may be something the board will consider in the future but it’s not part of its current plans.

In other business, the board approved the hiring of Tim Hawley as the county’s part-time assistant dog warden and Stacey Treherne as a part-time employee of the county animal shelter.

Hawley will assist Dan Posey, who was hired recently to replace Chuck Shreve as the full-time dog warden.

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