Brooke County collects tires, electronics

FOLLANSBEE – The Brooke County Solid Waste Authority will team next week with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Rehabilitation Action Plan program to collect discarded electronic devices and tires from Brooke County residents.

At its meeting Tuesday, the board discussed the collection, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the solid waste authority’s recycling center near the Brooke County Animal Shelter on Mac Barnes Drive off state Route 2 south of Beech Bottom.

All participants must show proof they are Brooke County residents.

Items that will be accepted include: answering machines, computer copiers, cellular phones, CD and DVD players, VCRs, camcorders, calculators, digital cameras, electric typewriters, electric wire fax machines, video game systems, hard drives and various computer equipment, microwave ovens, projectors, pagers, radios, remote control devices, stereos, televisions and telephones.

Things that can’t be accepted are large items such as dryers, washers, stoves, dishwashers, hot water tanks, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioning units, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers or any type of light bulbs or ballast, smoke detectors or household or commercial batteries.

Tires will be limited to 10 per person and must be off their rims, from cars or light trucks only and with a radius of 16.5 inches or less. Tires from businesses won’t be accepted.

Those not able to participate in the collection may bring electronic devices to the recycling center any time between 8 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday.

Those with questions should call the solid waste board’s office at (304) 527-3947.

The board also scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. June 24 at its office at 231 Rockdale Road.

Its next regular quarterly meeting will be on July 22, but Glenn Kocher, the board’s chairman, has resigned and he asked if it wished to meet once more before his term ends on July 1.

Kocher has served on the board for 20 years and nearly all of them as its chairman.

Prior to the meeting, he recalled he was approached by the late Harry Reitter to fill a vacancy on the board. He intended to serve just one four-year term, he said, but quickly became involved with various issues faced by it.

“There were some tough times and some good times,” Kocher said.

He noted early in his tenure the board became involved in a lawsuit filed by the state Attorney General’s Office alleging the Brooke County Landfill had created odor that rose to the level of a public nuisance.

In 2010 Kocher was named the West Virginia Association of Solid Waste Authorities’ Volunteer of the Year for his involvement in developing the county’s recycling program.

The program grew from an aluminum can collection at the Brooke County Opportunity Center to Dumpsters for plastics, metal and paper at several Brooke County sites and the establishment of the recycling center on property donated to the county by the Windsor Coal Co.

Kocher also encouraged students at local schools to participate in state contests promoting recycling by involving the board in naming local winners and awarding prizes to them.

In addition to serving as director of the state Association of Solid Waste Authorities and chairman of the Brooke County board, Kocher was mayor of Follansbee from 1989 to 1993.

Other hats he’s worn include Brooke County sheriff’s deputy, mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service, park and recreation director for the city of Follansbee and community relations coordinator for the Weirton Wal-Mart.

Recycling director Becky Harlan and Karen Williams, the board’s office manager; said Kocher has stopped by the board’s office regularly to assist with various matters and they will miss his input and support.

In other business:

The board authorized Harlan to apply for a $20,000 grant from the state Solid Waste Management Board for a proposed collection of hazardous household materials, such as cleaning products, some automotive fluids and paints; and various operational expenses for the recycling program.

Harlan said $20,000 is the most the board may seek.

Kocher said it may not receive the full amount, noting the most recent grant awarded to it by the state board was about $13,000.

Kocher said a portable ramp has arrived for the recycling center but it wasn’t the model the board had ordered so the vendor will be contacted about the error and the $6,500 bill won’t be paid until that’s resolved.

Board officials said the ramp will enable staff to more easily load recyclable materials onto trucks that transport it to recycling businesses.

Its cost is being funded from part of an $84,619 grant from the state Division of Environmental Protection’s R.E.A.P. program.

The board depends on alternating grants from the R.E.A.P. program and state Solid Waste Management Board for the collection, transport and temporary storage of metal, plastic and paper collected at its recycling bins.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com)