Recycling efforts grow in Hancock County

NEW MANCHESTER – With all the recycling going on in Hancock County, the operators of the Hancock County Recycling and Convenience Center soon may need a bandwagon.

The amount of materials brought to the recycling center, 832 Gas Valley Road, in 2012 grew significantly – and in some cases doubled – from 2011, according to the center’s 2012 annual report.

“People are bringing their items here because we accept things that other recycling centers don’t,” said Rob Mark, site manager.

In his report to Hancock County commissioners, Mark Vignovic, chairman of the Hancock County Solid Waste Authority, said the increase in recyclables justifies the center’s expanded hours and operations.

In 2012, the center collected:

35 tons of mixed paper and cardboard.

44 tons of electronics.

41 tons of scrap metal and white goods.

86 tons of household junk.

807 tires.

1,650 gallons of paint.

880 gallons of used oil.

1,397 fluorescent bulbs and lamps.

220 gallons of pesticides, herbicides and household chemicals.

27 tons of commingled glass, plastic, steel and aluminum.

The recycling center opened in December 2010 with Saturday hours only. Previously, Hancock County held a semi-annual countywide cleanup day at Tomlinson Run State Park.

Activity at the center picked up rapidly in 2011, so much so that, by September 2012, the center expanded its hours to six days a week. On Monday, the center will resume its spring hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Mark said activity has remained steady even in the winter months. “I’ve had 50 (visitors) in a weekend. That’s busy,” he said. There were a total of 5,606 visitors in 2012, according to the annual report.

“It’s convenient for me,” said Eric Schlotter of New Manchester, who visits the recycling center every month with a pickup truckload of recyclables. On Tuesday, he and new center attendant Bill Theiss unloaded a truck bed full of cardboard, plastics and home construction materials. The latter went into a special roll-off trailer whose use is paid for by private donations.

“I’ve been coming here for quite a while, since they opened up,” Schlotter said. “My wife and I have been recycling for years. I think more people should.”

Schlotter gave Mark a $5 donation as he left.

In addition to donations, the recycling center operates on revenue from collected materials with a market, the Hancock County commissioners, state grants and the state Solid Waste Assessment Fee. The latter is calculated based on the amount of solid waste tonnage each county puts into a landfill.

State grants come from the West Virginia Solid Waste Management Board and two programs administered by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Mark said this year the recycling center is starting to participate in the WVDEP Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan, whereby center personnel identify areas in Hancock County that are being used for illegal dumping.