Abuse has put recycling program in jeopardy

Posted February 28, 2018 at 3:02 pm

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Recycling bins, entire program in danger of being discontinued

Those big, multi-bin recycling trailers have become a common and, for those who use them on a regular basis, welcomed sight at a host of locations in Albany and Clinton County.

Their existence here might be short-lived, however.

Not because of a lack of use, or even because of the expense to the county that would come with over-use.

It’s simple abuse from local citizens that have their placement, and the entire recycling program, in jeopardy.

That warning came this week from Clinton County Judge/Executive Richard Armstrong, who told the Clinton County News that the program is in danger of being shut down because people are simply abusing the recycling bins, and by doing so, are putting the entire program at risk.

In a letter explaining the problem, Armstrong said that it was the wish of his office and the fiscal court to see the program continue, but people who were putting household trash in the bins were putting the program in dire risk.

He also noted that people who were putting recyclable items into the bins but doing so in plastic trash bags, were also causing problems that was jeopardizing the entire program.

During a meeting of the Albany – Clinton County Chamber of Commerce last week, Armstrong also explained to those in attendance that by using plastic bags to deposit recyclable items and especially by using them to place household trash into the bins, county employees were being forced to remove the items from those bags, sort them out and place them back into the bins.

He added that the household trash that was being placed into the bins, after sorting, was then sent to the landfill via a trash hauling service, at a cost to the county.

“The Clinton County Fiscal Court wanted to be a part of this great program, therefore we established our own recycling program in April, 2015,” Armstrong explained in his letter Monday. “Since that time, with the help of grants, we have provided cardboard trailers, recycling trailers and curbies to specific areas. Unfortunately, the recycling trailers are being abused by some people. Therefore we will be removing the recycling railers from the areas of Dollar General Market and Dairy Queen due to the trailers being over half full with garbage.”

Armstrong continued by noting that in order to keep the program alive, the county was asking for the publics help in using the bins only to deposit recyclables that are not in plastic garbage bags, and that no household trash be placed into the bins at all.

The only items that are to be deposited into the bins, and the corresponding doors they should be put into are: #1 plastic (water bottles, soda bottles, etc.) #2 plastic (milk jugs, bleach bottles, laundry detergents jugs, etc.).

Bin doors are also available for food cans, aluminum cans, newspapers, magazine and cardboard.

The letter further explained that recycling is the process of taking a product at the end of its useful life and using all or part of it to make another product. The three steps which are represented by the universal recycle symbol are: collection and processing, re-manufacturing and finally, resale.

Armstrong urged local citizens to properly use the recycling bins, noting that by recycling, we reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills, we create more jobs, and manufacturing from recycled materials requires less energy.

In closing, Armstrong urged Clinton County citizens to “help us keep our recycling program.”