Recycling information, figures presented

GUEST SPEAKER — Louise Holliday, JB Green Team environmental educator for Jefferson County, was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of the Steubenville Kiwanis Club where she was welcomed by Ted Gorman, left, February program chair, and club President Mike Emmerling. -- Janice Kiaski

STEUBENVILLE — One person generates 4.5 pounds of trash a day, and more than three-fourths of that can be eliminated by recycling, members and guests at Tuesday’s meeting of the Steubenville Kiwanis Club were told.

Speaker Louise Holliday, JB Green Team environmental educator for Jefferson County, presented a state of the union address of sorts on 2018 recycling statistics from Jefferson and Belmont counties and noted more people are indeed recycling.

Introduced by Ted Gorman, February program chair, Holliday has been a litter prevention and recycling advocate for close to 30 years, beginning back when Clean Community Systems existed in Steubenville. It was an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and it started out with just litter prevention, she said.

“From there, when we lost our grant, I went to the county program, which was Jefferson County Recycling and Litter Prevention, and when they no longer would fund the county program, that’s when the solid waste authority took over. I have been going to solid waste meetings since the early 1990s,” Holliday said. “We’ve always had programs going on throughout Jefferson and Belmont counties, but when the landfill opened up, that’s when the authority took over, and they were known as Jefferson Belmont Regional Solid Waste Authority.” The name was shortened to JB Green Team. Its squirrel-outfitted mascots are “Jeff and Bel.”

The JB Green Team has an office presence on Canton Road in Wintersville, which will ultimately find a permanent home on Technology Way off county Road 43, Steubenville. “The authority is going to build us a building out on Technology Way, our permanent address, and there’s enough land there that all the trucks and everything can be housed inside. Right now, all of our trucks are outside during the winter time, which makes it a little rough,” she said.

There are 15 board members throughout Jefferson and Belmont counties, she explained, and Anita Petrella serves as Jefferson County’s executive director. Jefferson County has an administrative assistant and Holliday as educator. Belmont County has a program director and its own environmental educator and two drivers. Jefferson County has five drivers, one laborer and a fiscal officer.

The square mileage covered is 411 in Jefferson County and 541 in Belmont. Combined daily travel is 952 miles, five days a week, “which is quite a bit,” Holliday said.

“We have several programs,” she said. “We started out in the city of Steubenville with curbside recycling. That went on for three years and then from there when I went to the county, we did drop-off recycling, and that is what we are doing now. We do a paper program throughout Jefferson and Belmont counties through all the schools and businesses and communities.”

She pointed out that when the schools recycle their paper, for instance, that goes to Valley Converting in Toronto. Twice a year the schools get paid for their paper and paper products.

Among the 2018 combined recycling figures for both counties are 3.222.85 tons, fiber; 1,068.47 tons for co-mingled; and 290.21 tons for glass.

“We recycled 1,068.47 tons of co-mingled recyclables last year, which is a good bit of co-mingled recycling. People seem to like the fact that they can go out every day and drop off their recyclables,” she said.

“We also have community cleanups throughout Jefferson and Belmont counties,” Holliday continued. That includes tires, electronics and bulk pickups in 14 townships, two cities and villages in Jefferson County. The bulk pickup doesn’t apply to Steubenville or Toronto, she said. The programs also are done in Belmont County.

In 2018 there were 174 tons of tires recycled in Jefferson and 69.3 tons in Belmont; bulk pickup trash constituted 153 tons in Jefferson and 147.56 in Belmont; and for electronics or e-cycling, there were 7.23 tons collected in Jefferson and 8.59 in Belmont.

The total cost of spring cleanup programs for the authority is $191,005.60, according to Holliday, who serves as president of the Ohio Recycling Coalition.

“Our ultimate goal is to get less and less tires every year, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. We did more than 243 tons of just tires alone throughout Jefferson and Belmont counties,” she said.

“Through the years I have seen such a vast change in what people buy and what they dispose of. It’s truly amazing. We have truly become a throw-away society. I have seen new things go into the containers. It’s amazing,” Holliday said of her observance of the bulk pickups items. Between the two counties, there was a combined 300.56 tons of “what you would call your junk to get rid. “We also added an e-cycling program, which is your electronics. Now that has really taken off big,” she said. The first time it was held with a drop-off site at the mall, more than 300 laptops and old computers were brought.

Between the two counties, almost 16 tons were collected. “That’s a lot for one year,” she said.

An electronics recycling will be held in April in Steubenville for items such as printers, laptops or older TVs, the latter of which require a small fee to dispose of, she said.

“We also have household hazardous waste collections,” Holliday said. The numbers for 2018 were 21,260 pounds in Jefferson County and 52,155 pounds in Belmont County.

The 2019 hazardous waste collection will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 29 in the Fort Steuben Mall parking lot area. It is an opportunity to dispose of such things as paint, turpentine and oil.

JB Green Team also has a variety of education and awareness programs, including paper recycling tours done at Valley Converting in Toronto; a trashy art contest where students make something out of their household trash; poster contests; and a Stock the Pantry on America Recycles Day.

For information on the JB Green Team, call (740) 266-6899. The website is www.JBGreenTeam.org.

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