The county was able to purchase a new baler for the recycling center with the help of grant money.
The county was able to purchase a new baler for the recycling center with the help of grant money.

PUTNAM COUNTY - Putnam County was awarded a grant from ODNR for a total amount of $150,000. With this money the county was able to purchase a new baler to aid in the County's recycling efforts, personal protection equipment for the sorters, grapple hooks for the recycling skid steer and an air purifier for the skid steer. The baler was purchased through Ely Enterprises in Lorain, Ohio.

With the new baler there are going to be many changes that will be implemented to the County's recycling operation. It is yet to be determined what will work best but county is asking for all residents to please be patient in this endeavor, to call the commissioners' office with any question (none are too small) and to please read the new signage at the bins before disposing of recyclables. These new signs (even homemade looking ones) will be the key to the success of the recycling program and there are going to be many changes starting May 1, 2013:

• The bins at the Transfer station bins will be closed (no longer there).

• One additional bin will be added to the bins at Walmart.

• The bins here will be labeled as follows:

• Paper ONLY

• Cardboard ONLY

• Plastics 1, 2 and 4s ONLY

• Metals ONLY

• Green glass ONLY

• Clear glass ONLY

• Brown Glass ONLY

• Glass will only be able to be recycled at Walmart and no longer available with our mobile sites. Plastic, metal, cardboard and paper will still be available. The county is looking into more space for four total bins with the mobile sites so the public is asked to be patient. A notice will be given when, or if, a site will change.

These changes are on a trial basis to see if better results are produced in the product collected. If these rules and changes are not complied with the Commissioners may be forced to take drastic measures and possibly go to a "Pay as you Throw" program where residents will be charged a fee to properly dispose of their recyclables during restricted times when the bins can be monitored and money exchanged. While this is not the wish of the commissioners, it may be a reality because of the abuse of the free program. Please help stop the illegal dumping! Call the commissioners' office (419-523-3656) any time of day and leave a message with the date, time, location and any identifying characteristic of the illegal dumper (plate number, make or model of car). Any help received would be much appreciated.

The hope with these changes is to have a purer product and to put the new baler to good use. If the product is pure, the county will be able to bale them ourselves and "cut out the middle man," so to speak. The county would be able to expand recycling and keep in with compliance with the Ohio EPA. Please feel free to call the commissioners' office with any questions or concerns regarding these changes.