Clark County Solid Waste District buys land to grow programs

Dec 26, 2017
The Clark County Solid Waste District recently purchased the vacant building at 1620 West Main Street, next too its recycling center, and plans to expand the recycling center for better customer access. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

The Clark County Solid Waste District has bought a neighboring property to expand services it provides to county residents.

The district has been at its 1602 W. Main St. site for a decade.

Clark County residents can take glass, plastic, metal, paper, cardboard and other items there to be recycled for free.

It also takes specialty items like old tires, paint, electronics, televisions, appliances, documents and household hazardous waste. There are fees to dispose of those items, and they vary from 10 cents a pound to a dollar a pound, Clark County Solid Waste Program Coordinator Steve Schlather said.

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The amount of people the district serves and material brought in has grown steadily for several years. For example, in 2014 about 1,300 people used the service, Schlather said. The next year it grew by more than 200 people. In 2016, 2,032 people used the and as of December 14th of this year, 2,073 people have dropped off recyclable items.

The building at 1620 W. Main St. is right next door to the current facility. It has been vacant for five years, said Chuck Bauer, the Clark County Utilities and Solid Waste director. He added it was falling into disrepair. The district purchased the property, earlier this year, for $40,000. The new space will allow the facility to grow.

“We hope to use that property for some of our current programs and possibly to expand because we are pretty much at capacity in this building,” Schlather said.

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Forty percent of residents and businesses in Clark County recycle, whereas 90 percent of industries do. These numbers exceed the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s standard of 25 percent.

“We keep getting more business and it’s getting harder for us to store the materials that are brought just with the space that we have.”

The neighboring property is the only place the district can expand. That’s because there are private residences and a railroad track around it. Schlather said it was prudent to acquire it. It will allow the district to grow to three acres and will double the warehouse space from 6,000 to 12,000 square feet. It will demolish most of the property and will cost $80,000.

“We are definitely going to start moving some of our current programs over there in the new year and using that space to give us more room to do what we currently do,” Schlather said.

That could include moving recycling bins to the new space to give more people room to drive through to drop off recyclables.

“Also, probably be a little more visible because you will be able to see the bins from Main Street. So that might increase our traffic,” Schlather said.

That might urge more people to recycle, which is always the end goal.