MAHONING COUNTY Deputies set to crack down on illegal dumping

The litter patrols start Aug. 11.
AUSTINTOWN -- The Mahoning County Sheriff's Department will establish a patrol to help catch people illegally dumping litter in the county and Youngstown.
The policy committee of the county's Reuse & amp; Recycling Division met Tuesday at the division's headquarters on Westchester Drive here and heard Deputy Glenn Kountz explain the deputies' duties.
Kountz said two full-time deputies will be assigned to patrol the county's outlying areas and the city seven days a week looking to catch people illegally dumping refuse along the highways.
They will begin their patrols in the city Aug. 11.
He said the department will be working in conjunction with the city's Litter and Recycling Control program.
"I don't have to tell you that we have a serious litter problem in the county, especially with discarded tires," Kountz said.
Solid waste revenues of $60,000 will be used to pay the deputies. The money is an allowable expenditure because the funds are used for enforcement policies to stop littering, said James R. Petuch, recycling director.
Also, the city will contribute toward the deputies' salaries, he added. The exact amount was unavailable Tuesday.
Stepping up recycling efforts
In other business, Lou Vega from the recycling division explained to the committee about an aggressive plan over the coming years to increase the amount of recyclable materials collected and cut down on material reaching the county's three landfills.
One plan is to increase the amount of yard waste that can be recycled by taking in more magazines and office paper from curbside pickups as well as from businesses.
The recycling division also has instituted a re:Create program modeled after the one Petuch oversaw when he was Youngstown State University's recycling director.
The program collects reusable items such as art, craft materials and furniture and redistributes them to nonprofit organizations.
Vega said the program's anticipated tonnage for this year is 1,000, increasing to 5,000 tons over the next five years.
The more tonnage that can be recycled gives the county a greater chance of getting a materials recovering facility or MRF built in the county, Petuch said.
Robert Carcelli, Struthers city council president and a volunteer on the county's MRF committee, said the plan is to look for a potential site for the facility.
A meeting is set at YSU next month to see if support exists to build a MRF to handle recyclable products. Solid waste managers from Trumbull, Geauga and Columbiana counties in Ohio and Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania have been invited to attend.
The MRF committee believes a facility could generate millions in revenue and provide jobs.
Finally, policy committee members selected Dr. Joseph C. Edwards, a licensed psychologist who lives in New Springfield, to fill the citizens' vacancy on the committee. He will serve until March 31, 2007.
The policy committee oversees the recycling division's programs.

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