Green Christmas theme of homemakers’ meeting

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ROME TOWNSHIP — The holiday season started out for the Lawrence County homemakers learning how they can make it a green Christmas.

That was the message Stephanie Helms, Community Outreach Specialist with the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste recycling program, gave to the homemakers during their holiday program and luncheon Tuesday at Ohio University-Proctorville Center.

“Almost everything in your house can be reused,” Helms said.

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It was in 1988 that the Ohio Legislature passed HB592 or the Ohio Solid Waste Law that required communities to establish solid waste districts. Today there are 52 such districts in the 88 counties in the state. Several factors prompted the bill’s passage including declining landfill space, increased waste disposal and limited recycling.

In recent years the local district has gained in visibility through a number of programs it has instituted including the permanent recycling programs where there are 12 sites in Lawrence County and 17 in Scioto County, Helms said.

The most active sites for recycling are at the Food Fair at Proctorville and the Wal-Mart parking lot in South Point. However, the curbside recycling program has been slower to take off, she said.

A pilot project was started in Hanging Rock where the district went door-to-door to find households interested in using a recycling container that would be provided by the solid waste district. However only 14 households out of 125 agreed to participate.

“It has taken longer for this to catch on,” Helms said.

Anyone who sees an open dump can contact the district, which will then send out an officer to investigate.

The violator is given a 30-day warning. If he doesn’t comply, then he is brought into court. Recently two such individuals were given jail time for refusing to clean up the open dumps.

However, sometimes violators are unaware that garbage from their households ends up in an open dump until an investigation.

“Sometimes elderly will pay someone to clean out their garage and think they have taken it to a licensed landfill,” Helms said.

With the Christmas season here, Helms reminded the homemakers that the district will pick up live Christmas trees after the holiday and recycle them by depositing them in Lake Vesuvius for fish habitat.