The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 27, 2013

Geneva, Ashtabula County ink agreement on recycling

GENEVA — Geneva City Council has extended the city’s garbage pickup contract with Waste Management for an additional year and at the same time inked a deal with Ashtabula County to continue the recycling programs.

The contract extension with Waste Management comes with a 2.5 percent increase in one- and two-can pickup and a reduction in costs for unlimited trash pickup, the contract shows, and recycling will be collected bi-weekly instead of every week.

The city also has the option to further extend the agreement for two more one-year periods.

Waste Management customers will pay $14.77 for unlimited weekly curbside collection this year, the pricing table shows, and the city’s red recycling bins will be replaced with new recycling “carts.”

The contract extension and revision of the city’s recycling services came just as Geneva administrators inked a “memorandum of understanding” with Ashtabula County Solid Waste Management.

City Manager Jim Pearson said the county’s solid waste plan is being written by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

“The county must provide recycling services to 90 percent of its residents,” he said, “and Geneva is the only community with curbside recycling.”

Though Geneva is the only city with curbside pickup of recyclables and maintains the Geneva Recycling Center on Austin Road for residents of the city and surrounding communities, being considered in the county’s solid waste plan is a benefit to residents.

“Being a part of the district will allow the city to be included when recycling goes out to bid,” county solid waste coordinator Janice Switzer told Geneva City council members. “The county has contacts with every solid waste district in the state. There are a lot of benefits the county can provide.”

Switzer said the county solid waste district is entering into a similar agreement with the OEPA and will be creating a recycling transfer station in Ashtabula.

The county pays $15,000 per year toward the operating costs of the Geneva Recycle Center.

The commitment to the solid waste district indicates the city would have to make every effort to maintain the current, non-subscription curbside recycling program; evaluate all potential recyclable materials for the program and incorporate as many acceptable materials as possible; evaluate options to improve the trash collection program, including the creation of economic initiatives for residents to recycle more; and allow the county to serve as a technical advisor during bidding for services.

Pearson said the city already meets all of those requirements, and the district will help the city find and apply for grants and loans to further the recycling program.

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