Recycling efforts successful

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Lawrence County is getting greener.

Dan Palmer, director of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District, said the amount of material collected at the district’s recycling containers has increased

dramatically since the first of the year.

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In January, all 29 recycling container sites in the two counties collected 12 tons on recyclables. In October, that figure had increased to 60 tons— five times the amount collected at the beginning of the year.

“This shows we do have a lot of people who are willing to recycle,” Palmer said.

To accommodate the increase in recycling, the solid waste district has increased the number of containers available at some sites. For instance, the Sam’s Club parking lot in Burlington now has three containers, as does Foodfair in Proctorville. One site in Portsmouth has four containers.

One change in the container site list: the container that was once located at the Rich Oil lot on North Second Street has been moved across the street to the Johnny On The Spot parking lot, 1805 N. Second St.

“Rob Slagel was nice enough to let us put a container on his property,” Palmer said. “I do want to thank him for allowing us to do so. We had no other container site in the north end of Ironton available for people to use.”

In the past year, the solid waste district has instituted several programs aimed at increasing awareness of litter issues and recycling and rewarding positive efforts. In addition to the recycling containers, the district has implemented voluntary curbside recycling pickup in the village of Hanging Rock and has instituted an adopt a litter site program. Groups and private citizens agree to periodically clean up an area that is prone to collect litter. The volunteers are given a sign noting their efforts, much like the state’s adopt-a-highway litter sites. The solid waste district also has a voluntary recycling program for local schools. One of the more popular solid waste recycling programs is “Caught green-handed”. Each month solid waste officials pay surprise visits to one recycling container location in each county and reward unsuspecting people found using the recycling containers properly. People have even called the solid waste office and asked to be caught.

“I think the green-handed program definitely has helped,” solid waste education coordinator Stephanie Helms said.

Helms said anyone who wants to sponsor a site for litter pickup or any school interested in starting a recycling program may call the solid waste office at 532-1231.