Grant boosts Putnam County recycling program

April 18, 2013

OTTAWA — Putnam County is using a $150,000 state grant to purchase new recycling gear while changing rules for its recycling program.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources funds will be spent on a new baler to aid in the county’s recycling efforts, personal protection equipment for trash sorters, and grapple hooks and an air purifier for a recycling skid steer.

“We did not have a baler before this,” said Ashley Siefker, Putnam County community recycling coordinator. “It is a huge step in our recycling program.” The baler was purchased through Ely Enterprises in Lorain.

Siefker said new baler will bring changes, including the closure of recycling bin collection at the transfer station.

New signage and an additional bin at Walmart in Ottawa are among changes starting May 1. The bins will be labeled paper only; cardboard only; plastics 1, 2 and 4s only; metals only; green glass only; clear glass only; and brown glass only. Glass only will be accepted the Walmart recycling site. It no longer will be accepted at the mobile sites.

Siefker said the changes are on a trial basis.

“If these rules and changes are not complied with, the commissioners may be forced to takes drastic measures and possibly go to a pay-as-you-throw program, where residents will be charged a fee to properly dispose of their recyclable during restricted times when the bins can be monitored and money exchanged,” she said.

Siefker said a lot of people are abusing the current system.

The commissioner’s office would like help stopping illegal dumping. If you see an illegal dumper, call 419-523-3656 any time of day and leave a message with the date, time, location and identifying characteristic of the illegal dumper. Helpful information includes the plate number, make or model of any vehicle involved.

“Our hope with these changes is to have a purer product and to put the new baler to good use,” Siefker said. “If we have this pure product, we would be able to bale them ourselves and cut out the middle man, so to speak." Siefker said that progress would allow the county to expand its recycling and keep in compliance with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

A recycling baler grand opening for the general public will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at the former Weatherseal Building on E. Second Street, Ottawa.

Putnam County recycling baler