Fayette recycling center in for a change 2012.05.30

Written by David Green.

Changes are ahead for Fayette’s recycling center because the two volunteers handling the bulk of the operations won’t be in the position to operate it in the future.

“In the next few years you’re going to have to make a decision on what you want to do with it,” Dave Metcalf told village council members last week.

Metcalf attended the May 23 council meeting to let council members know that a change in the operation of the facility will be needed sometime down the road.

Metcalf said he won’t be available in the winters and Dave Lichtenwald will be in a similar position in a couple of years.

Metcalf noted that Morenci pays a coordinator to work a few hours every week and that the centers in several other communities are operated by groups or an individual that receive the profits from the sale of the recycled goods. Archbold, Wauseon, Delta and Swanton all have curbside pick-up.

Fayette is the only center that’s run only by volunteers, he said, and he and Lichtenwald believe it’s a necessary arrangement in order to keep recycling going.

Metcalf said that park board members initially operated the center on Saturdays, but there’s no longer any participation by park board members. Funds from the sales of materials still go to the park board, as originally planned. The sale of recyclable materials brings in about $175 every quarter.

Cub Scouts, National Honor Society members and the school ag department all help out.

Council member Julia Ruger said her family was late in discovering the benefits of recycling, but they’re now strong supporters. She says it cuts in half the amount of trash they place at the curb.

She was surprised to learn that recycling funds went to the park board. She believes the board’s involvement is needed if they are the ones benefitting. Otherwise, another organization should be found to help out.

Mayor Ruth Marlatt said she knows the issue has been brought up to the board in the past and efforts to schedule workers never panned out.

Metcalf said he and Lichtenwald spend about an hour every day at the center to clean up. There are occasional problems to address, such as trash dropped off at the center, but last week there was a situation that had never before occurred.

Four or five dozen syringes were left in the drop-off area. They were taken to a doctor’s office for disposal and learned the syringes had been used for agricultural purposes. There was also shattered glass.

Metcalf said No. 5 plastic is taken to Toledo by someone, that Styrofoam is taken to Morenci, and rechargeable batteries are taken to Lowe’s.

Marlatt said she often sees cardboard and other recyclable materials at the curb for pick-up.

“I know you invest a lot of time in it,” Marlatt told Metcalf. “You are appreciated.”

She repeated the thanks to Lichtenwald when he arrived at the meeting later, adding, “We really need to work on this. We can’t just let it die.”

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