By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Rural Wood County residents will no longer have to store recyclables in their garages or cart them around in their cars to recycling centers far from home.
On Thursday, the Wood County Commissioners approved plans to offer full-time recycling drop-off at 10 locations throughout the county.
“We know everyone’s excited about having recycling 24/7,” Kelly O’Boyle, Wood County assistant administrator, said Friday.
The new recycling drop-off sites will not require sorting of items, including plastic bottles, office paper, newspaper, aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, magazines and glass.
Those areas in line to get permanent recycling locations are:
- Bloomdale and Perry Township
- Grand Rapids
- Jackson Township and Hoytville
- Jerry City, Cygnet, Portage, Portage Township and Rudolph
- Milton Township and Custar
- Perrysburg Township
- Stony Ridge
- Tontogany and Washington Township
The North Baltimore recycling site will remain open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Bowling Green Recycling Center and NAT near Bradner both already operate as 24/7 drop-off locations.
“Our goal is to provide the best service at the lowest cost. We believe the ability to accept mixed recyclables will provide ease of use to our residents and likely the ability to recycle additional material,” O’Boyle said.
The goal is to have the drop-off locations operating by no later than June of next year.
A survey conducted in 2015, through a partnership between the solid waste district and Bowling Green State University master’s of public administration program, was conducted to determine the interest in recycling among rural Wood County residents.
A total of 2,725 surveys were mailed to rural resident, with 683 being returned. The study found:
- Rural residents had a favorable attitude toward recycling.
- A number of the residents said they drive to Hancock and Lucas counties to use permanent recycling facilities.
- Of those who use the satellite locations, 55 percent said they would increase their use beyond once a month if permanent sites were made available.
As it is now, mobile containers are placed at each of the satellite locations so residents can drop off their recyclables once a month. The recyclables are separated at most of the sites by Scouts or other community groups. Those groups are paid a per capita allocation that adds up to roughly $127,000 a year, according to O’Boyle.
The satellite site program contracts with the Bowling Green Recycling Center to maintain the locations and transport the materials to the BG site. The contract is $86,400 for the year and expires at the end of this year.
Originally, the plan was to set up a pilot program of 24/7 drop-off sites in the county. However, no quotes were received for the pilot. So based on the strong support in the survey results, it was decided to proceed with the 10 satellite sites.
On Nov. 15, bids for the monthly satellite locations were opened. The bid from Bowling Green Recycling Center was $88,560, over by more than the 10 percent allowed by law. Therefore, the bid had to be rejected, according to O’Boyle. The current contract with the BGRC is expiring on Dec. 31.