MAHONING COUNTY Green Team wants recycling to be easier

The recycling division has several special collections planned for later this year.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Easier is better when it comes to encouraging people to recycle.
That's the Mahoning County Recycling Division's philosophy, anyway.
The division, known as the Green Team, is eyeing a different approach to recycling paper-fiber products that it hopes will get more people into the program.
Products like newsprint, cardboard, magazines and telephone books all must be sorted out and placed into separate recycling bins because most recycling companies process them separately for different products, said Timothy Berlekamp, executive director.
All in one
The Green Team is looking for a recycling company that will accept all of those products lumped into one bin. Everything except wax-covered milk and juice cartons would be accepted.
The idea is that if people don't have to take the time to sort all those items, more might be willing to put them into recycling bins instead of trash cans, from where they ultimately end up in a landfill.
"The easier it is for people to use, the more successful we think it will be," Berlekamp said.
Paper products make up about one-third of the county's total annual recycling intake, Berlekamp said.
Mahoning County has 21 recycling drop-off sites in locations all over the county and offers Ohio's only free curbside recycling program, Berlekamp said.
The recycling division also has several special collections lined up, including an appliance collection that starts Saturday and runs through May 4.
Selected sites
Selected sites in the county will be set up to accept old stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners, water heaters and other appliances. County residents won't be charged for removal from freon from the appliances.
Residents can call the recycling division office at (330) 740-2060 to find out which sites will accept appliances.
Household electronics will not be accepted during that drive, but can be dropped off at selected sites around the county in September and October. It's the first time such a collection has been done in the county, Berlekamp said.
Household electronics can include old computers and monitors, radios, televisions, stereo equipment and other electronic items.
There will also be a household hazardous waste collection day May 11 at the Canfield Fairgrounds. Residents can recycle products like lead-based paint, varnishes and thinners, pesticides, automotive fluids, propane gas tanks and lead acid batteries.
There will be an additional day set aside for collection of paint Oct. 19, also at the fairgrounds.
The department will also hold its annual gift wrap and Christmas tree recycling project from Dec. 26 to Jan. 31 at various sites around the county. The paper is recycled and the trees are mulched and used in landscaping programs.

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