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Solid waste district events on hold

For the foreseeable future, all the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District events are on hold, such as the Lawrence County electronic waste and document shred day that was supposed to be on Saturday.

Dan Palmer, LSSWD’s executive director, said they had scheduled the event back in January, but that was before the coronavirus pandemic hit and changed everything.

“I had to call last week and cancel. Thankfully, they understood,” he said. “Right now, all of our events are on hold until further notice, until we get notice from the governor that we can have these.”

The annual River Sweep in June has been canceled too.

Palmer said all the events are labor intensive and the district is usually helped out by people from the STAR Community Justice Center. And right now, they aren’t letting them out to help at any events because of the chance of contracting the coronavirus.

“That is a big factor in our events,” Palmer said. “If you offer two events in one day, you need a lot of people to unload cars. So, it is pivotal we have them.”

Palmer hopes that they will be able to have the district’s biggest event, the household hazardous waste event, which is scheduled for Sept. 26.

“I hope that can stay on schedule,” Palmer said. “But we had to delay our pharmaceutical take-back day in April.”

In 2019, the district took in 78 pounds of pills, 30 pounds of sharps and syringes and 48 pounds of liquid medication collected from 34 cars during the Lawrence County event.

“I’m hoping to reschedule these events for sometime this summer,” Palmer said. “But again, that is up to the governor. But the sheriffs said they want to have the event because it is successful. I said whenever the order is lifted, I will contact them and arrange the event.”

He said that he believes in the programs and that they are vital to the public.

“And they are free to the public,” Palmer said. “If the public has patience and waits, we will notify them through the newspaper when we have these events again.”

Palmer said that the situation has caused townships in Lawrence County to temporarily cancel their clean up events too.

Palmer said all the solid waste districts in Ohio used to meet with EPA on a quarterly basis but now are meeting every Tuesday on the phone as they try to deal people who are using recycling containers to dump trash like kitty litter, flooring and even old furniture.

“We are seeing that at all of our sites,” he said, adding he wonders if it is because people have lost their jobs and canceled their garbage service.

The issue is that the bins are for specific items like plastic, glass or paper. When trash like kitty litter is dumped in there, the contents of the bins have to be taken to the garbage dump because of contamination.

“Just about every county is experiencing the same thing with people dumping and abusing the recycling sites,” he said.

Palmer said the paper mills are looking for paper products and cardboard, since those items are recycled into paper towels and toilet paper. Both those products are in high demand because people are spending more time at home.