Household waste collection may be put on hold

FOLLANSBEE – Limited funding could lead the Brooke County Solid Waste Authority to put plans on hold for a collection of hazardous household materials, such as cleaning products, some automotive fluids and paint.

At its quarterly meeting Tuesday the board opened the sole bid received from a recycling firm to accept the materials.

The bid was submitted by Environmental Enterprises Inc. of Cincinnati and included rates per pound for various materials as well as a transportation and setup fee of $3,600.

Becky Harlan, recycling coordinator, said the fee is not unusual. But board members noted they have been awarded $8,000 through a grant from the state Solid Waste Management Board for the collection and questioned whether it would be enough.

Harlan agreed, noting a hazardous household waste collection held in 2008 was funded by a state grant of about $10,00 and a $5 fee charged for each vehicle bringing material to the event.

She suggested the board could solicit assistance from the Brooke County Commission and local municipalities, but added she also could check on whether the board may advertise for new bids for the collection.

Harlan said four area businesses involved in recycling or disposing of such materials were advised bids were being sought for the event, but only the Cincinnati business responded.

Board members and staff said response was tremendous for the electronics collection held April 16 at the recycling center in Beech Bottom. Funded by a $10,500 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection, it yielded truckloads of various electronic household devices.

“It was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it. We had two semis full and we hadn’t even collected the televisions and computer screens,” said board member Bob DiCicchio.

Glenn Kocher, board chairman, said the TVs and computer monitors will probably fill a third truck. He noted such collections are helpful to residents because of new regulations prohibiting landfills from accepting them because of concerns about potential contaminants. He added three truckloads of discarded tires were collected.

“That was the best event we ever had,” said Harlan, who added she will report on the tonnage collected in the future.

Karen Williams, office manager, said a steady stream of vehicles could be seen entering the recycling center’s site on the day of the collection.

Harlan noted residents also may bring electronic devices to the center, which is off state Route 2 near the new Brooke County Animal Shelter, between 8 a.m. and noon weekdays. For information about devices that can be accepted, call (304) 527-3947.

In other business, the board:

Agreed to apply for a $20,000 grant from the state Solid Waste Management Board for labor, supplies and transportation and maintenance costs for its recycling program and a routine state-required audit.

The grant is a primary source of funding for the recycling program, through which the board transports tin and aluminum, paper and Nos. 1 or 2 plastics from collection bins at Hooverson Heights Primary School, Follansbee and Wellsburg middle schools, Brooke High School, the Wellsburg Rite Aid and Bethany College.

Heard from David Seum, president of Sunset Recycling of Wheeling, a new business that sorts and distributes plastics, glass and electronics for recycling. Seum said he’s interested in partnering with the board as he has done with schools and nonprofit groups in Ohio and Marshall counties.

Noting the board has a similar operation at its recycling center, members said they would need to weigh the costs involved in working with Sunset.