Rural residents face challenges to stay close to home
While many take curbside recycling for granted, for many rural parts of Washington County, that kind of convenience may never be an option.
Not having the service does impact if they recycle, said residents.
“We personally do not (recycle). We’d have to pack it up and take it elsewhere and that’s just not convenient for us,” said Jana Gregory, a resident of Warren Township. “I wish they’d pick it up from house to house like they do the garbage out here. The whole township changed to the same company for convenience, I wish that included recycling.”
Officials say there are other recycling options for those outside cities, though they require more time and effort.
“There are a plethora of (drop off) places to recycle in Washington County,” said Rob Reiter, Southeastern Ohio’s Joint Solid Waste Management District director, noting between 150 and 200 tons of recycling hauled out of Washington and Morgan counties per month.
Reiter said each township in the county has a drop off option at least once per month, with Lowell and Little Hocking bi-monthly and Beverly/Waterford three times per month.
Chris Green, of Churchtown, said she often will just bring her recycling from home to the Marietta drop off point on Gilman Avenue on her way to work.
“Then I’ll bring the shredded paper from work here on the way home,” she added. “It kills me to see this thrown away. I pass this place twice a day.”
Jennifer Sturgill, of Warren Township, said she was shocked to learn her home doesn’t have the option for curbside pickup of recycling when she moved from California.
“We recycled everything there, but now I’m a big upcycler and instead just don’t use plastic bottles or drink soda so there’s no cans,” she said. “It’s an easy habit to get into, going without the bottled water or the styrofoam cups. It just needs to be a mindset to reuse.”
Julie Monroy, media relations for Kimble Recycling and Disposal, said outside of organized cities and villages with contracts, the logistics of traveling between homes that are miles apart proves too high of a cost-to-benefit ratio for waste companies.
“It doesn’t make sense for a small population in a township where we would need to dispatch a truck four miles between possible pick up points,” she explained. “The footprint affects logistics.”
Some companies will provide service but it can be at a steep cost in rural reas.
“It’s all about population and productivity,” explained Reiter. “It would be a subscription service so if you want it you’d have to pay for it and people don’t want to pay for it.”
In Marietta, Belpre and Devola, curbside pickup is already available through the individual payments of customers requesting the service, and elsewhere in the county free rolling locations throughout the year are set up to collect glass, plastics and paper.
“Next month the township provides a dumpster for Decatur,” said James Giddings, of Little Hocking. “People do utilize it but I haven’t used it personally though because most of our things go with the dumpster at my business.”
This past weekend Lowell’s bimonthly pickup from the firehouse took place at no cost to residents.
And while the Salem Township rolling drop off location is available once per month for residents, businesses like the Wrangler Tavern in Whipple also utilize their dumpster trash service for major recycling pickup.
“We recycle the cans,” said bartender Jennifer Morgenstern.
Meanwhile, Barlow Township Trustee Richard Best said the township garage drop off is heavily used each week.
“The people here in Barlow love it,” he said. “It goes along with our trash service and people fill up that dumpster every week.”
Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz said the city changed over to curbside pickup two years ago from having just a Washington Boulevard site.
“It’s worked pretty well, and we always advertise what’s accepted, they even have that on the (bins) Kimble provides,” he said.
Reiter noted the following items are not accepted in regular collections either curbside or at drop off points:
¯ Egg cartons.
¯ Juice and frozen food boxes.
¯ Pizza boxes.
¯ Plastic trash and grocery bags.
¯ Tissue, napkins or paper towels.
¯ Food trays.
¯ Oil and antifreeze containers.
¯ Yogurt cups.
¯ Window glass or automotive glass.
¯ Ceramics materials/kitchen dishware including drinking glasses, cups, mugs, dishware, pots, pans, plates, silverware and other eating utensils.
¯ Light bulbs.
¯ Wood or wooden pallets.
¯ Toys, pools or pool liners.
¯ Aerosol cans.
¯ Steel and plastic drums.
¯ Styrofoam or any other plastic than those listed above.
¯ Marietta: curbside recycling.
¯ Belpre: curbside recycling.
¯ Devola: curbside for Waste Management and Rumpke customers.
¯ County: Friends of Recycling, 915 Gilman Ave., Marietta.
¯ Fearing Township: I-77 rest area.
¯ Waterford Township: Beverly 1 at Fifth Street.
¯ Waterford Township: Beverly 2 at Ferry Street.
¯ Waterford Township: Waterford at township garage.
¯ Muskingum Township: Devola – firehouse lot.
¯ Muskingum Township: Oak Grove – community building.
¯ Marietta Township: Reno- VFD firehouse lot.
¯ Belpre Township: Little Hocking firehouse lot.
¯ Barlow Township: township garage lot.
¯ Salem Township: barbershop lot.
¯ Adams Township: Lowell firehouse lot.
¯ Grandview Township: Ohio 7 – New Matamoras IGA/Amos Car Sales.
¯ Caldwell 1: 215 West St.
¯ Caldwell 2: 18506 Woodsfield Road.
¯ Jackson Township: Dexter City Park.
¯ Dexter City Dexter City Village Park.
¯ Noble Township: Liberty Grocery lot.
¯ Mary Hammond Recycling 900 S. Riverside Drive.
¯ Brock’s Recycling 3182 W. State Route 37.
¯ MIBA 5037 N. State Route 60-Parking lot.
¯ Marion Township: Chesterhill Peoples Bank lot.
¯ Deerfield Township: Tridelphia township lot.
¯ Windsor Township: Chesterhill Peoples Bank lot.
¯ Windsor Township: Stockport-1681 Broadway Street.
¯ Manchester Township: Reinersville Township garage lot.
¯ Penn Township: Pennsville-School parking lot.
¯ Meigsville Township: township building.
¯ Woodsfield 342 Lewisville Road (rear).
¯ Beallsville Street department lot.
¯ Hannibal Township Garage.
¯ Clarington United Church of Christ.
¯ Lewisville Old School parking lot.
¯ Malaga Bush Church.
Source: Southeastern Ohio’s Joint Solid Waste Management District