WILMINGTON — “This is something that we’re going to see very soon and we’re excited about it,” said Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker when discussing the new recycling toters during Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting.
A total of 4,500 65-gallon toters will be distributed to citizens on Monday after a year of planning and covering costs. The project dates back to January, 2017 when the city was, as Shidaker described it, at a crossroads with the recycling program. They had to decide whether to maintain the current program with the 18-gallon buckets, kill the program entirely and have no recycling, or expand it.
The opportunity to expand came around that time in the form of a $250,000 grant through the Ohio EPA — the largest grant provided by them. According to Shidaker, Wilmington was among the eight applicants to receive the grant out of 63 applications.
“We’re finally at the point now where I believe starting Monday we will start to roll out this program. Our goal is to have it completed and out by the end of March,” he said.
With this new program, he believes that they will double the number of recyclables diverted from the city landfill by next year.
“We divert somewhere between 100 and 150 tons of recyclables already. I firmly believe that number will double next year,” he said.
Landfill Superintendent Mike Crowe informed council and attendees that a bag will be attached to the toters when delivered with information about when to put them out for pickup and how they’ll be collected.
They also will include information on what can and can’t be put in them. Prohibited items include lithium-ion batteries, plastic bags, textiles, needles, and all forms of scrap metal.
According to Crowe, there is a camera mounted in the truck that will look into the toter when it’s being dumped. If they see something that’s not meant to be dumped then they’ll leave an “oops” note attached to the toter letting the resident know of the issue.
The pickups will happen every other week, according to Shidaker, but if necessary they will do them every week. They’ll start the pickup two weeks after the toters are dropped off at the residences.
As for the old toters, Crowe said users could recycle them in the new toters or they could keep them and use them for storage or to transport items for the new ones.
Beware of solicitors
Mayor John Stanforth informed attendees electrical aggregation rates have been mailed to all citizens. He stated that citizens don’t have to do anything and warned them of solicitors coming to residences claiming to be a city employee encouraging to change their electrical supplier.
Administrative Assistant Annen Vance told the News Journal residents will receive information about the new electrical aggregation contract andthe rates, and if someone doesn’t want to be included they can opt-out.
She also stated there have been solicitors trying to get residents to switch aggregation after 4 p.m., which is prohibited, and have targeted elderly citizens claiming to be city employees in some case.
She said a city employee would not do a house visit unless there is an emergency. She encourages anyone who has had a solicitor visit during prohibited hours to report them to the Wilmington Police.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574