The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 28, 2013

Ashtabula County commissioners to assist Geneva’s recycling center

By CARL E. FEATHER - cfeather@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Commissioners in a work session Thursday agreed to send some financial assistance to the City of Geneva’s troubled recycling center.

A mountain of material is piling up at the Austin Road site, which has more yard waste than funding to process it. Commissioner Dan Claypool told commissioners Peggy Carlo and Joe Moroski that he recently met with city officials on the problem.

Claypool said the city needs $12,000 to grind and remove the backlog of material, which is accepted at no charge from city and township residents. The commissioner said the city and county are “behind the eight ball” on the project because receipts from landfill fees have fallen even as consumers recycle and send less material to the landfill.

Geneva Township receives tipping fees from the landfill, but that money goes to the general fund rather than the recycling center. Claypool said the township has pledged $4,000 to help rid the recycling center of the excess material, however.

Also, the City of Geneva is kicking in $4,000, and $1,000 or thereabouts will come from Geneva-on-the-Lake, Claypool said. The County Department of Planning and Community Services has roughly $2,000 in funds that could go toward the project if the county’s general fund can kick in at least as much.

Carlo and Claypool supported the request, but Moroski has reservations because it’s a problem that won’t go away. Claypool reminded Moroski that the problem is not the city’s and township’s alone, but also that of the county’s Solid Waste Board.

“It’s our problem,” Claypool said. “It’s a problem that everybody is stuck with.”

Claypool said that when the city first began meeting with him on the problem, the estimate was $6,000. It’s now double.

“We need to help them,” Carlo said.

“I’m voting yes. You can argue about it all you want, but the longer we wait, the more it piles up and the more it costs us,” Claypool said.

“There is no other place to dump that brush,” Carlo said.

She pointed out that residents from Saybrook Township also use the recycling center, so it is not purely a Geneva city and township issue. Carlo also said that commercial landscaping companies are no longer allowed to dispose waste there; the center is strictly for residential yard waste.

Commissioners agreed that Geneva Township needs to increase its financial investment in the center. Claypool said the city could decide to limit its use to Geneva City residents if the townships don’t participate financially. The most immediate concern, however, is to clean up the backlog that is already there.

“It continues to rise,” Claypool said. “We need to get rid of it or they will have to close the recycling center.”