Jim Skora

Jim Skora, the county's contracted solid waste director, holds up a new sticker during a Nov. 18 commissioners meeting that will soon be installed on doors of recycle bins in Ashland County.

ASHLAND — Trash — the recyclable kind — continues to be a topic of discussion at Ashland County commissioners meetings.

Ashland’s contracted solid waste director, Jim Skora, presented commissioners Thursday with a report on the county’s newly implemented recycling program, which started with drop-off bins scattered in June.

Officials continue to discuss ways to expand the program, which has a ways to go before it reaches the amount of recyclables processed at the county recycling center before it shuttered in December 2020.

The center processed between 2,000 to 2,800 tons of material each year. As of now — after a full four months — the recycling program sees an average of 117,000 pounds, or 58 tons, per month.

In all, the drop-off program has processed around 140 tons since June, Skora has said.

The latest effort revolves around the county’s tire recycling program. Commissioner Denny Bittle said it has been a success.

“We had way more participation than we anticipated,” Bittle said.

Hard numbers are yet to be available, Skora said. The Ashland County Health Department is administering the program and hasn’t yet presented him with that data.

Skora said the solid waste district would be interested in hosting an agricultural tire recycling event in 2022. He said the event, which he estimated would cost anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 to host, would be covered mostly by an Ohio EPA grant.

The deadline to apply for the grant is in February. If granted, the county would have to match up to 25% of the cost and the event would likely be held in July or August.

The event would be similar to the one in the summer for household hazardous waste, which commissioners said in the works to make an annual event.

The household hazardous waste event drew 712 vehicles that were full of waste and generated $38,000, Skora said, adding it was a “complete success.”

Commissioners are also interested and working toward hosting a recycling event for electronics. Skora said he would fetch a quote to host such an event and Bittle said he would continue to ask area businesses to set up a more permanent and ongoing program similar to the drop-off bins.

Bittle also wants to find a solution for people to be able to recycle refrigerators and other appliances.

“I’m really pleased with the program and its growth,” said Commissioner Jim Justice, adding an area of ongoing growth is minimizing contamination in the drop-off bins.

Skora agreed, saying the success of the recycling program in Ashland County relies upon compliance. He pointed to the solid waste district’s website that has all of the program’s rules.

The biggest issue has been mixing recyclables and plastic bags.

To remind people of this rule, commissioners have paid for the installment of stickers that will stick on each drop-off bins’ doors.

The sign resembles a stop sign and reads “No Plastic Bags Only Recyclables.” The stickers will be installed soon, officials said.

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