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The Suburbanite
  • Perry Township trustees want changes to recycling operation

  • Perry Township trustees want a more efficient and financially viable alternative to continue offering a recycling option to its residents. And they hope the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne (STW) Joint Solid Waste Management District can do just that.

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  • Perry Township trustees want a more efficient and financially viable alternative to continue offering a recycling option to its residents. And they hope the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne (STW) Joint Solid Waste Management District can do just that.
    “When we got into this recycling business originally, it was a whole different world,” Trustee Craig Chessler said Tuesday night during a Perry Township board of trustees work session. “There were markets out there to sell the product ... we made money and we got grants to help buy the equipment. But now the market for the recyclables is down.”
    Working with the STW Joint Waste Management District would mean the township, which has been recycling since the late 1980s, would have no costs when dealing with recycling.
     “We looked at some commercial companies,” Trustee Doug Haines said Tuesday. “And there would still be fees for the township for them to haul and dispose of (the recyclables) for us.”
    Haines said he expects the board to move forward with the partnership very soon.
    David Held, executive director for STW Joint Solid Waste Management District, told trustees Tuesday that if they want to move forward, he can have bins ready to go in fewer than 30 days.
    Recycling hasn’t been a money-making venture lately for the township, which makes the partnership with the district particularly attractive.
    Perry Township Fiscal Officer Joe Schlegel said the township lost $96,000 last year with recycling. And the numbers were similar in 2011, with an $82,000 loss, and in 2010, with an $80,000 loss.
    “Our residents have become used to the convenience of the local drop-off and the ability to take the recyclables to a site instead of having them go to a landfill,” Chessler said. “Up to this point — despite the fact that this is not a money-making venture — it was a convenience to the residents. But now we are looking at every way to cut costs and to increase revenues. So this is a necessity.”
    However, Schlegel said partnering with the district doesn’t mean the township would recoup all of the money it has been losing. For example, part of the personnel currently involved with recycling operations also work for the parks department.
    Trustees say they believe working with the district also will be positive for township residents. The joint solid waste management district would be able to provide more recycling sites and 24-hour operations.
    Currently, the Perry Township Recycling Station is open Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The site is closed Sundays.
    “For people who use the bins, it is easier to go when they are 24/7 rather than the strict daytime hours that we have at our recycling station,” Haines said. “I think it is a win-win situation for the community.”