Council briefed on recycling rules

With budget discussions on their minds Marietta City Council members were given a presentation Tuesday on the changing recycling market and how those changes effective at the close of the year will affect future recycling costs in the area.

Rob Reiter, district coordinator for the Southeastern Ohio Joint Solid Waste Management District, explained how tightening restrictions for plastic waste imports in China have changed the landscape for where plastic wastes are to be processed and disposed of.

“The Saran Wraps and plastic bags you get at the grocery stores gunk up the sorting machines and actually cost more money to recycle than they’re worth,” he explained.

He also noted that due to increased restrictions on what levels of contamination in mixed plastics waste China is willing to take.

“It’s an impossible goal they’ve imposed reducing from a 3 percent contamination down to a 0.003 percent,” said Reiter. “But effectively that means there may be an increase in the market here for disposing of that waste.”

Reiter also noted to council that the new Hanna Road compaction site for the district is up and working as of Monday, taking in recyclable materials and compacting them for transport.

“That will make the bids for next year’s waste contracts more competitive,” he explained. “Because it will reduce the amount of time their trucks would have to travel to offload before getting back out on the streets with their haulers.”

He said the current bill Marietta residents get from Rumpke is probably paying at least a third in recycling disposal costs and that vigilance by residents in what they put out in the recycling bin plays a part in that cost.

“When you put your bin out, keep your materials loose, keep your plastic bags out of the bins and put the paper beneath the cans and glass to keep it from blowing away,” he said. “And keep the Styrofoam out of it.”

Other business

Council also completed a look at the streets budget in discussions this week and will see the following major revenue streams to pay for paving and other streets projects:

¯ Ohio Public Works Commission: $400,000, to be used for 2018 Asphalt Paving Project.

¯ Ohio Department of Transportation: $64,098, to be used for a signal study.

¯ Safe Routes to School: $44,807.

¯ Community Development Block Grant: $25,000, to be used for ADA curb ramps.

¯ Ohio Public Works Commission: $136,950, to be used for Hillcrest Drive slippage.

¯ Ohio Department of Natural Resources Clean Ohio Trail Fund: $1,552,932, to be used for River Trail Phase V.

¯ Loan through ODNR: $65,000 loan to be used for River Trail Phase V.

¯ Wood-Washington-Wirt Tri-County Commission: $1,143,643, to be used as local matches for state-funded projects and in smaller projects on state routes and city streets and alleys.

“The bulk of the cost from any budget is salaries for employees,” said Councilwoman Kathy Downer, chair of the streets committee. “The only new purchase we’re making for streets is a new dump truck they desperately need for a safety issue that’s needed not only for snow removal but is used throughout the whole year.”

Council also began discussion of the city’s general fund Tuesday.

and Assistant Safety-Service Director Bill Dauber noted a stop-gap mechanism in place for 2018 to increase the city’s carry-over for beginning of year payouts before taxes come in.

“So what we have here is a bare bones spend and it’s coming off of the employees here,” he said. “Our freeze on wages is a bridge to financial sustainability but you can’t do that year to year. This is a stop gap only.”

The discussion on the general fund will continue Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Room 10 of the Armory, 241 Front St., Marietta.

What to recycle:

¯ Newspapers, paper, magazines.

¯ Cardboard.

¯ Glass bottles and jars.

¯ Hard plastic containers, such as from soft drinks, milk, ice-cream, margarine and yogurt.

¯ Aluminum, such as soft drink cans and foil trays.

¯ Steel cans.

What not to recycle:

¯ Plastic bags.

¯ Plastic films.

¯ Any glass contaminated with stones, dirt and food waste.

¯ Ceramics, such as dishware, ovenware, and decorative items.

¯ Heat-resistant glass, such as Pyrex.

¯ Mixed colors of broken glass.

¯ Mirror or window glass.

¯ Metal or plastic caps and lids.

¯ Crystal.

Source: Rob Reiter and Waste Management.