OTTAWA — The Putnam County Commissioners have scheduled three hearings to discuss allowing them to use a portion of the assessment fee collected for the landfill/maintenance closure toward the recycling program in the county.

In Dec. 2000 the commissioners approved a resolution to collect an assessment fee to cover the maintenance and closure cost of the landfill. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency requires owners of landfills to maintain the landfill for a period of 30 years after its closure.

The assessment fee approved was $15 per year for each residential/agricultural parcels with building values and $38 per year for each commercial/industrial establishment.

The Ohio EPA also mandated that Putnam County reduce the among of solid waste that is transported to surrounding landfills. To accomplish this reduction the commissioners set up several sites in the county where residents can bring their recyclables and have also set up a material recycling facility.

Putnam County Commissioner John Love said they have been able to reduce this by 60 percent because of the recycling facilities.

The commissioners indicated recycling is expensive with expenses including such things as equipment fuel, personnel wages and unwanted trash received that is unable to be recycled. They are seeking to use a portion of the assessment fee to help with recycling costs. To do this they are required to have three public hearings.

The hearings are all in the assembly room o the courthouse. They will be held:

9 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 20

Noon, Friday, Feb. 21

7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26.