Use of recycling program urged, but rules must be followed

Posted August 2, 2017 at 9:03 am

The recycling program in Clinton County has been ongoing for the past few years now and by most assessments, has been not only successful but an asset to the county, both financially and in helping the environment and keeping Albany and Clinton County a cleaner place.

From time to time, however, it seems that many people need to be reminded that recyclable items only are allowed to be accepted at the recycling center or placed in recycle bins, and household waste, or garbage is definitely not acceptable.

Clinton County Judge/Executive Richard Armstrong and new Recycling Coordinator Andrew “Shorty” Myers discussed recent problems associated with items being brought in or placed in the bins that are not only not permitted, but costs the county money and are down right dangerous to recycling center workers.

Judge Armstrong said tons of increased garbage and household waste are being placed in the recycle containers and it costs the county to have such items, which cannot be sold for recycling material, to be disposed of.

Armstrong and Myers gave a run down on both what is recyclable, what isn’t as well as which recycled products can bring the most money from companies which deal in and buy recycled products.

Acceptable items include plastic water bottles, soda bottles, soap/detergent bottles, peanut butter containers, etc., which are classified in the number one category and can bring up to $160 per ton.

Class two recycle items such as water jugs, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, mustard/ketchup bottles, bleach, soap, plastic coffee cans, etc., noting they are all plastic products, are also easily recycled and can mean more revenue to support the recycling center.

Perhaps one of the most popular and definitely accepted recycle items allowed is paper of about all types, including newspapers, magazines, paper back novels and cardboard of all types. Also, all aluminum cans, tin cans and aluminum products are environmentally safe materials.

Residents who do turn in recyclable items are asked to remove lids from all bottles before disposing of them.

On the flip side, items that are not acceptable, and those which cost money for the county to dispose of because it cannot be recycled include, among others, plastic oil containers or any container involving petroleum products, such as oil jugs. No colored plastic medicine bottles. No hardback bound books, which are too labor intensive and time consuming since the books have to have the glue from pages removed.

Other items not accepted are TVs, computer monitors, radios, and air conditioners, which is not recyclable and expensive to dispose of. Also not accepted are such items as butter bowls or orange pill containers (clear is acceptable), no bubble wrap or plastic wrap and no plastic trash bags, except what is turned in containing items that are recyclable.

Judge Armstrong noted that the waste bills, when it comes to disposing of items that cannot be recycled, is growing.

Also, normal household items, considered garbage or solid waste, should be left in the bins or brought to the recycle center. Other household items definitely not accepted include clothing, shoes, etc., wood products, vinyl siding or tires and no soiled paper (diapers), etc.

One other item that the county recycling center definitely does not want to tolerate is “syringes,” which has been a hazard to recycle center employees and is very dangerous when placed in recycle bins. “There is a huge concern about safety when it comes to syringes placed in recycle bins and picked up by employees, or possibly by other people,” said Judge Armstrong, who strongly urges needles and syringes, regardless of use, from being placed in the recycle containers.

Armstrong and Myers, while issuing an appeal for more Clinton County residents to take advantage of our recycling program and the benefits it brings, also is asking that residents not abuse the program by using the recycle containers as “trash bins” for normal household waste or trash.

Judge Armstrong said, “We appreciate all the participation we have had with the recycling program and it has been successful. We are making a positive impact and I have seen less trash along our roadways and other areas of the county.”

He went on to say, however, that the recycling program is a privilege to allow residents to help dispose of recyclable products and help make a difference in the environment and help keep the county clean, but, “it is abused, it can be taken away. It is a community service.”

The county has a total of eight recycle containers, seven which are placed in strategic areas in Albany and around the county and one kept in reserve for use if needed.

If anyone has any questions about the recycling center, recycle bins, what is or is not acceptable, etc., you may contact the Clinton County Recycling Center, call Meyers at 606-688-2746, or contact the county judge/executive’s office at 387-5234.