“America Recycles Day” is coming up on Nov. 15 — a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. In this spirit, Clinton County Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) staff thanks all the dedicated Clinton County recyclers for all their hard work.
Outside of the City of Wilmington, recyclers have to collect their recyclables, rinse them, then transport those items to a community drop-off location — that truly shows how important recycling is to you and your families.
Thanks to your efforts, for example, in 2019 Clinton County recycled: 830 tons of paper and cardboard (this saved more than 14,000 trees); 14 tons of aluminum cans (which saved the equivalent emissions from a standard car driving from the Earth to the moon and back twice); 60 tons of plastic bottles, jugs and jars (which saved enough energy to power every home in the Village of Blanchester for a week); and 215 tons of glass bottles and jars (that is nearly the weight of the Statue of Liberty).
Clinton County residents can accomplish nearly anything when they set their sights on a goal.
It’s because of the dedication of the many residents who follow the program rules, that we are taking this opportunity to address recyclers who do not.
The rule-breakers often fall into two categories: “wish-cyclers” — those that know the rules and want to do the right thing, but place items that they hope can be recycled anyway into the drop-off containers: and the deliberate dumpers and abusers who just don’t want to pay to dispose of their waste.
Wish-cyclers, while not good for the viability of the recycling program, are not the main concern of SWMD staff at this point — the deliberate abusers are. When non-recyclables are mixed into the recycling containers, contamination occurs; the materials must either be removed by hand (often by SWMD staff), or at the recycling sort center.
If the contamination is too excessive, then the entire container must be disposed of as garbage in a landfill. Additionally, the extra work needed to process the recyclables means increased cost to taxpayers and makes the recycling markets less viable.
Someone tried to dump several old toilets at one of our locations — no one wants to climb over these dirty things to put their recyclables into the container, and we do not believe that the residents should have to foot the bill.
These outcomes should outrage residents that put in the extra effort to recycle properly!
Your SWMD is doing its part to stop the deliberate abuse of recycling drop-off sites. Working cooperatively with local law enforcement, surveillance cameras are being employed with increasing success. SWMD does not want to see dumpers in court being levied large fines — we want to not see the dumping in the first place and thus, preserve an effective recycling program that we all work hard to maintain.
Please help us share the message — if it is not listed or pictured on the drop-off recycling boxes as an item that is accepted in the program, it cannot be recycled at that drop-off recycling location. If it is not a bottle, jug, or jar (plastic or glass), a can (aluminum or steel), or clean paper (newspaper, office paper, or junk mail etc.), it does not belong in the green drop-off containers.
This means that old lawn furniture, scrap tires, plastic bags, old toilets, windows, dirty tissues, old mailboxes…trust me I can keep going…. are indeed, not recyclable in these containers. It is really just that simple.
Thank you for all that you do Clinton County recyclers.