OTTAWA — Because of the abuse the county has had with the recycling program, constant monitoring is now underway at all of the Putnam County recycling facilities.
County administrator Jack Betscher said cameras have been installed at the facilities in an effort to apprehend anyone who is abusing the program. “We don’t want to stop the program because of the small percentage of people who abuse the program,” he said.
“People have left things like grills, dirty diapers, air conditioning units, and after the windstorm people left a lot of spoiled food in the recycling bins,” said Ashley Siefker, community recycling coordinator. She said someone even left the remains of a deer after they had slaughtered it. “This contaminates and pollutes everything in the container so it can’t be recycled.”
When the county contacted the state about the problem it was suggested that other counties have a ‘pay-as-you-go” recycling program. “We didn’t want to do that,” said Cindy Landwehr, county grant and wage coordinator. “So it was decided to install cameras at the sites.”
Betscher said if someone is caught abusing the program the county plans to prosecute to the maximum extent of the law.
The county currently has permanent recycling containers at the Putnam County transfer station on Road H-11 and at Ottawa Walmart. They also have a mobile unit that is offered for a week each month at Kalida, Continental, Leipsic and Columbus Grove.
Siefker said the county collects approximately 61 tons of recycling materials per month.
The county collects cardboard, aluminum, glass, steel cans and plastics number 1, 2 and 4. Siefker said they also provide other sources to recycle items on their website at www.putnamcountyrecycles.com.