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Brimfield weighs changes to township recycling program changes

By Rachel Hagenbaugh | Staff Writer Published: February 19, 2013 4:00 AM

Brimfield trustees will meet with the Portage County Solid Waste Management District in the near future to discuss a new contract, which may include the township's possible switch from curbside recycling to having residents drop off their recyclables at specific locations.

Trustee Mike Kostensky said the township is exploring the possibility and has been reviewing emails and Facebook comments to get the public's view on the issue.

"We're supposed to learn from the people of Brimfield," he said. "It's hard to make a decision if you don't know what the people want."

Kostensky said he has received complaints from citizens about being forced to pay for curbside recycling. The recycling district charges Brimfield residents $34.40 a year for curbside recycling. The charges are billed directly to the residents. If they don't pay, the charge is added to their property tax.

"Some people save their own cans and recycle it themselves for the money," Kostensky said.

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Some residents also take newspapers to a drop-off location in front of the police station. The money collected from the newspapers gets put into a fund for the township's safety programs.

Rosalie Ellis, a Brimfield resident who lives on Sunnybrook Road, said she wants the township to continue to use curbside recycling because it is beneficial for the residents who take advantage of the convenience.

"I recycle everything, and every week the box is full," she said. "If other people are like us, that's a lot of stuff that's being picked up."

Dawn Banks, planner at the recycling district, said about one million pounds of recyclables are collected from the township each year.

"When you're trying to implement the program, we find that residents are split between people who want it and people who don't want it," said Bill Steiner, director at the recycling district. "Once we start doing it, they really like the service because it's a matter of convenience."

Steiner said a lot of the areas in Portage County that do not have curbside recycling are those that are more rural, where houses are farther apart. There are twelve townships and two villages in the county that do not have curbside recycling.

Steiner said one of the problems with the drop-off locations is people illegally dump materials in the wrong containers or not in the containers at all. Ellis said she has driven by some of the drop-off locations in Portage County and thought they were a mess.

The recycling center, located at 3588 Mogadore Road, could serve as a drop-off location for residents, but a lot of people already use that location, including Summit County residents, Steiner said.

"We pick up the recyclables from the drop-offs three times a week and sometimes that's not nearly enough because the residents use them so much," Steiner said. "We try to stay on top of it as much as we can."

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1123 or rhagenbaugh@recordpub.com

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anonymous Feb 19, 2013 6:01 PM

Yes please keep the recycling program. people that throw recyclables into land fills should be fined. They are just lazy.

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 3:57 PM

Get rid of curbside recycling and this unnecessary tax. The recyclers don't take many items that they should anyway, so it is a tax that doesn't fulfill a purpose. Allow independent operators to take the recyclables for free and get rid of the tax on us. Let the people who want to pick things up for free have the money they make by delivering it to a recycler that PAYS them.

I'm sick of the county leaving recyclable items in the bins that I take the time to put out, so I have resorted to throwing everything in the trash again.

Get out of the county program and ask for volunteers in the township who then get to keep the proceeds for their trouble. The township can assign operators to certain neighborhoods if there are multiple volunteers. If an operator fails to collect in their assigned neighborhood bi-weekly, his neighborhood gets assigned to someone else.

This can easily be done for free.

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 8:00 AM

Please keep curbside recycling in place. Many people would not recycle without this service. Our environment will further deteriorate if recycling is diminished. Consider the energy used if each individual household were to transport their recycleables to the recycling center. People are less likely to recycle in the Winter. Having the weekly curb service helps residents to be more aware of the need to recycle. Responsible behavior is encouraged when your neighbors are aware of your recycling habits, as they are with the curbside service.