Green Team eyes more curbside recycling

Published: Tue, April 16, 2019 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Justin Dennis


The Mahoning County Solid Waste Management District could close 15 of the 28 recycling drop-off locations around the county if municipalities approve a plan to quadruple the volume of curbside recycling bins in those areas.

Lou Vega, county Green Team director, said it’s the biggest change inside the district’s new 15-year solid-waste management plan, which is refreshed every five years and must be submitted to the Ohio EPA in December.

“We spend a significant amount of money on those drop-off sites,” Vega said after a county board of commissioners meeting last week. “[The plan proposes] removing the need to go to one.”

The plan must be ratified by a number of municipalities whose populations total at least 60 percent of the county’s total population.

The plan would discontinue recycling drop-off services in incorporated municipalities where the new carts would duplicate services, including: Youngstown, which has three public sites; Austintown, Boardman, Campbell and Canfield, which each have two sites; and Lowellville, New Middletown/Springfield Township, Poland Township and Struthers, which each have one.

Vega said these rural communities without access to curbside recycling would keep their sites: Beaver, Beloit, Berlin, Coitsville, Ellsworth, Goshen, Green, Jackson, Milton and Smith townships and Craig Beach Village.

The proposal would affect about 90,000 homes, he said.

Vega said the estimated cost to fit the incorporated drop-off site carts’ 18-gallon tubs with either 65- or 96-gallon tubs is $3.1 million – about 47,500 carts at $60 a piece. The solid-waste management plan must be approved before the district can purchase the carts.

Residents and other solid-waste districts in the region can weigh in on the plan during a 30-day public comment period. Vega said the district plans to visit county municipalities sometime between August and October before the finalized plan is sent off.

Mahoning County and Youngstown, the county’s largest municipality, may both wield veto votes during the approval process, Vega said.

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