PORTSMOUTH-According to the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District, contamination of recycling containers and open dumping is creating a massive problem for the district.
LSSWMD Director Dan Palmer stated that in the last week garbage, shrubs, furniture, carpet, carpet padding, wood flooring, vinyl siding, mattresses and culvert pipe were just some of the items removed from recycling locations. Palmer stated that two chest of drawers were removed from the site at Southern Ohio Medical Center, a pool liner was retrieved from the Wheelersburg Kroger location, and syringes and dozens of bags of cat litter were removed from other places around the county.
“Enough is enough,” said Palmer.
Palmer states the district is beginning to operate more like a trash service as people continue to dump non-recyclables across multiple locations in both Scioto and Lawrence counties. Palmer said he believes with most people still being asked to stay home many have taken on cleaning and other home projects, leading to a large amount of dumping. The loss of employment due to COVID-19 and cancellation of trash services is another factor Palmer believes is contributing to the problem.
While COVID-19 forbids the usual cleanup assistance from STAR inmates, the cleanup work at these dumping sites is left only one supervisor per county. “They are doing the best that they can, but this is every day we’re running into all this abuse of our recycling containers,” said Palmer. Palmer stated his employees are taking precautions themselves during this time by wearing gloves and using sanitizers, but the fear of coming in contact with contaminated items is still high. Palmer said that due to those fears the district is not currently extracting from within the containers.
Palmer is asking the public to report any illegal dumping they witness by calling the district and asking that license plate numbers also be reported when available. Palmer advised the public to refer to the signage posted at the recycling locations if there are unsure whether or not an item can be recycled. Palmer stated that this misuse of recycling locations has to stop.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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