August 12, 2013

TALKIN' TRASH: Recycled electronics 'wow' director

by Bob Ehle
Guest columnist

---- — "Wow" may be the best way to describe the first community electronics recycling event the Cass County Solid Waste Management district hosted this year.

It rained consistently throughout the four hours of the event on July 31 at Spencer Park in Logansport. Despite that, people continued to bring in their televisions, computers, and microwaves.

I’ve asked several people since then, “how many pounds do you think were collected.” What would you guess?

My initial thought was somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 pounds. When I got the total back from RecycleForce, I was shocked. Over 16,000 pounds of electronics were headed off to be recycled, thanks to the efforts of the citizens and the businesses in Cass County. That is awesome.

We are still taking electronics from area residents five days a week, by appointment only, at our warehouse. In addition, we are also considering hosting a similar community recycling event in January. Sure it will be cold, and maybe snowing, but this should help people who have received some new electronics for Christmas.

On another note, the Cass County Solid Waste Management District is looking for your help. On the same day we held the community electronics recycling event, the switch to a new vendor for the roll off program also took place. If you have been to the Fairgrounds, Pioneer Elementary, or to the locations in Walton and Galveston, you have probably noticed the brand new blue containers.

They seem to be working out well, and because of their design, should be able to hold more commingled recyclables than the old containers.

We actually need your help in two areas. The new program is expected to save the district a significant amount of money. However, we are no longer able to have a roll-off location at the landfill. Board members and I agree that we'd like to find a location, ideally in Washington Township, to place another one. There are a couple of locations we are looking into, but nothing is a definite yet.

If you know of a location that would work, please let me or one of my board members know.

We would also like some assistance in identifying the person or persons responsible for dumping at the fairgrounds. That roll-off container is changed three times a week with the problem seeming to be happen on the weekend. As you might expect, a lot of people do recycle on the weekend. The bin is changed on Friday and again on Monday. However, it cannot be changed in between, on Sunday.

If it is full, please come back when there is room, and do not leave anything on the ground. We have a beautiful fairgrounds and I know we would all like to keep it that way.

If you notice someone placing something in the bins that is not appropriate (I found a toilet in it one time), or putting recyclables on the ground (more than three cases of beer bottles were left there recently), please contact the non-emergency number at dispatch so they can notify the Sheriff’s Department. That number is 574-722-6060.

If there is enough evidence, as we have done in the past, we will take legal action, with fines potentially reaching $2,500.

This is by no means a major problem, and seems to be taking place mainly at the fairgrounds.

If you have any questions or a suggestion for a roll-off location, please contact me at the district office. The number is simply 574-RECYCLE (574-732-9253).

Bob Ehle is executive director of the Cass County Solid Waste Management District.