WARREN TOWNSHIP — The recycling center in Warren Township is open again after being closed to the public for more than two years after repeated incidents of illegal dumping.
But new cameras, fencing, lights and enforcement strategies are expected to deter people from dropping off old mattresses, construction materials and other trash that don’t belong in the dumpsters, said Jennifer Jones, executive director of the Geauga Trumbull Solid Waste Management District.
When the recycling receptacles get filled with enough trash, it can contaminate the entire load, negating the efforts of others who use the dumpsters appropriately — to responsibly dispose of bottles, cans, paper, cardboard and plastic. There are signs on the recycling dumpsters spelling out what can be disposed of in the containers, and larger signs are expected to be installed soon. The different recyclable materials can be mixed in the dumpsters because recycling processing centers sort the material with lasers, magnets and other methods in a single stream, Jones said.
The township police department will work with the district to enforce the rules. The cameras will record evidence so charges can be filed against those who use the dumpsters illegally.
Since the county had cameras installed at the dropoff site in the parking lot at the administration building in downtown Warren, a few citations were issued and now the illegal dumping at that location is greatly reduced, said Frank Fuda, county commissioner.
The district has dropoff recycling centers in communities across the county, and a list of the locations is available at startrecycling.com.
The Warren Township site is at the LaBrae sports complex, 4651 W. Market St.
The township paid for the improvements at the site through a grant issued by the solid waste district, which is part of a new grant program Jones started with the support of the county commissioners that govern the district. The district had $85,000 in grants to distribute to support recycling.
The township is expected to also apply for a district grant to obtain benches made from recycled material, which will be placed along the township’s portion of the bike trail, said fire Capt. Julie Knowlton, who helped apply for the grant.
Trustee Ed Anthony pleaded for residents to use the site the way it is intended.
“Please, don’t ruin this for the people who want to use it,” Anthony said.