LUCAS COUNTY (WTOL) - It is no secret, residents need to do a better job with recycling in Lucas County.
County leaders are seeking state money for a new facility, more workers and better awareness to get the job done, saving money in the process.
At last, what you end up recycling will go to a new local sorting facility.
County leaders say it will likely be in place later this year, putting our tax money to better use.
The Lucas County commissioners have passed a resolution to apply for a materials recovery facility. This is an initiative that they have not been able to get through during the past three administrations.
Right now, all of the recyclables are taken as-is and shipped off elsewhere to places like Michigan and Akron at 10 to 14 tons per load. The initial gr ant is for a compactor that will create denser loads at 18 to 22 tons of recyclable material per load.
"The city's losing about three hundred thousand dollars a year now on curbside recycling because we're not in control of it," Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken explained. "Outside forces, the private markets, and recycling is kind of like the stock market, it goes up, it goes down, it changes. We need to get to a place where we control our own destiny. This is the first step toward doing that."
The next phase is to create the facility to have recyclables sorted ahead of shipping the materials.
County leaders say Lucas County will be looking for a local indoor facility, like an old small factory space. It will be operated by a contractor, likely Republic Services, who they work with now for both trash and recycling.
Gerken says to expect news on the materials recovery facility, shortened to MRF, later this year.
Jim Shaw, Sanitary Engineer for Lucas County, is looking forward to getting the project started right away.
"We're trying to make it easier on the residents," Shaw said. "The whole single stream recycling makes it easier. You can put all of your recycling materials into one bin. We just want to make sure they're putting the right things in there properly, because most things that people want to recycle, are recyclable but they may not be recyclable in the single stream program."
Lucas County also plans on providing more information to us on what can and cannot be recycled. They call this the Correct Recycling Campaign to help jump start what ends up in their hands.
For example, contrary to popular belief, grocery bags like the kind you get from Meijer or Kroger, do not go in your blue recycling bin.
This is a win-win for Lucas County residents. Permanent jobs that pay a living wage are being created and the taxpayer money that will be saved can go toward things like the roads.