Auglaize County Does Its Part to Recycle

By: 
JENNA GILBERT
Staff Writer

With talks of climate change becoming more prevalent, talks to encourage people to recycle and be more mindful of what they throw away have also been increasing. And while looking at a global scale can be hard for some to connect with, residents in Auglaize County are doing their part to keep products out of landfills. 

Scott Cisco, district coordinator for the Auglaize County Solid Waste, told The Evening Leader that last year. the county was responsible for recycling 9.6 million pounds of trash.

The most common item recycled in Auglaize is cardboard but plastic, glass and paper also rank high overall for recycling all over the nation. According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), every pound of plastic that is recycled reduces energy used in plastic production by 84% and drops greenhouse gas emission by 71%. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere which contributes to increased global temperatures, according to the United States EPA. 

Recycled paper production creates 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution, according to the Ohio EPA. It also states that 20 recycled cans can be made with the same energy it takes to create one new can and 15 glass bottles being recycled saves enough energy to power a laptop for more than 24 hours or run an air conditioning unit for one hour. 

While it seems many Auglaize County residents are already on board with recycling items, roadside pick up has some limitations as well as some of the drop off sites around the county. 

According to Cisco, curbside pickup asks residents to remove caps from bottles because they make it difficult to compact. For the county location, 15502 St. Marys River Road, caps on bottles don’t pose as much of an issue and are not required to be removed to be recycled. 

Each satellite drop off location for the county accepts a variety of items that will eventually make their way to the county location. The county recycling facility is able to accept more items on top of what each satellite location can accept, although some do come with a small charge.

Items such as paint, chemicals, herbicides, cleaners, pesticides and light bulbs are accepted for $1. Household batteries are accepted for $1 per pound, televisions are accepted for $1 per inch and tires are accepted for $5, $10 and $40 depending on size. 

One item Cisco addressed was that not all plastics are made the same, and sometimes they find interesting items in their drop off locations that don’t belong there. 

“We do accept ... like [in] our plastic bins we just want one’s and two’s in those,” he said. “A lot of times we get everything. We get people bringing plastic swimming pools, we get buckets and drums.”

He added that they can recycle some of those materials, but ask that residents bring those items to the county location as it can be handled better there than at the drop offs. 

Cisco also asks that if residents choose to drop materials off at the satellite locations to be sure they are only putting the item that corresponds with that container. 

“Our biggest problem right now is people using plastic bags to carry their recyclables in,” he explained. “And we would like material, like if people go to a drop off, it would be great if they would put the material in the right container.
“If they bring in a ton of plastic, they might tie it up in a garbage bag and they might throw the garbage bag and plastic all in a plastic container, which we would like them to empty the bag into the container and then discard that bag into our container that we have out there for it.”

He mentioned that people have done it with plastic, paper and glass items, and that it becomes an issue as employees have to take time to undo all of the bags which slows them down. 

On top of daily take backs, every few years, the county also applies for an EPA grant to host a tire recycling event. The next one is expected to be held in 2020, once they find out if they were awarded the grant. 

The tire collection event lowers the cost for residents to turn in their tires, with the most expensive tires costing $10 each. 

More information about that event will be available once the grant winners are announced. 

Anyone with questions about recycling locally can call the recycling center at 419-394-1270.

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