By MARALINE KUBIK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- If everyone who visits the Canfield Fair drinks just one can of soda, one bottle of water or one of iced tea, the pile of empty beverage containers could fill a small fleet of dump trucks.
If all of those aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles were recycled, a huge hole at the local landfill would remain empty -- at least temporarily -- and the environment would be a little healthier.
The Mahoning County Solid Waste Management District is working to collect and recycle all of those beverage containers as well as educate fairgoers about recycling so that the amount of trash that is landfilled decreases, and the amount of materials recycled in Mahoning County grows, said Harold E. Moore, program director at the Mahoning County Solid Waste Management District.
What to look for: Between 50 and 60 bright yellow or green collection bins are around the northern end of the fairgrounds this year, up from 40 last year. They are concentrated in the 4-H area.
The hope is that as fairgoers become more aware of the importance of recycling, more of them will deposit their beverage containers in the collection bins at the fair and recycle other materials at their homes and places of business, Moore said.
The solid-waste district has been collecting recyclable beverage containers at the Canfield Fair since 1998. About 200 pounds of aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles were collected the first year, reported Beth Hudach, assistant manager of the rural recycling education and awareness program. The amount collected more than tripled in 1999, with 620 pounds of aluminum, glass and plastic.
Last year fared a little better, Hudach said, with a similar amount of recyclables collected, including 183 pounds of aluminum cans.
About 100 volunteers, mostly 4-H club members, emptied the bins three times a day last year, Hudach continued. This year, a family of four will empty the bins at the end of each day.
Looking to improve: "We're always looking for ways to make it simpler and better," Hudach explained. Two bins will be at each site this year so that the number of collections can be reduced without increasing the risk that the bins will overflow with empty beverage containers.
Displays in the Government building this year focus on Mahoning County's basic recycling program, Moore said. An updated recycling guide is also available at the district's exhibit. The 12-page booklet lists the county's top 22 drop-off sites for recyclables along with hours of operation and items accepted. It also provides information about the county's curbside pickup of recyclables and drop-off sites, Moore said; rural areas are served by drop-off collection sites.
The solid-waste management district also collected empty beverage containers at this year's Home & amp; Garden Show and various festivals and baseball games.