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Recycling proposal reviewed

City council learns of transit expansion plans

June 6, 2012
By DAVE GOSSETT - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - City officials are preparing to set up a pilot sanitation collection system in the Buena Vista subdivision that will include a recycling program.

"The idea is to increase services we provide, reduce our expenses and gain better control of our waste system. The first step will be to introduce carts to the city. The carts will give us better control of what goes into our sanitation trucks. It will eventually allow us to separate recyclable material and yard waste from the waste stream and reduce the tipping fees we pay at the landfill," Streets and Sanitation Superintendent Bob Baird told City Council members Tuesday night.

"We know when it rains we spend more money at the landfill because we are throwing away water. Normally we take about 30 tons of solid waste a day to the Brooke County landfill. But during the summer months, those tonnage numbers increase to 50 or 60 tons because of yard waste. We are looking at ways to divert the yard waste from the land fill and compost it," continued Baird.

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Steubenville city manager discusses potential city recycling program.

"That will require residents to separate their yard waste and recyclables at the curb. We can use the city roll out carts to segregate yard waste from the solid waste," Baird added.

"The Buena Vista subdivision residents are open and receptive to serving as a pilot program. There are 339 accounts in that neighborhood, so the first step would be to get the new carts in place. If it works, we can continue to grow on those numbers to include all of Monday's collection customers. That is our largest collection day. We need to start somewhere and start building from that point," said Baird.

Baird noted the city's new sanitation trucks have the ability to pick up the carts mechanically.

"That will save on the physical demands on our employees. That should mean a reduction in our workers' compensation cases. It will also add to the savings we can realize. And I don't see life changing a lot for homeowners," Baird said.

City Manager Cathy Davison said the Buena Vista residents already participate in a voluntary recycling program.

"A number of residents put their recyclables out once a week and volunteers collect the bags and take them to the JB Green Team recycling dumpsters. If we give residents a solid waste cart and a recycling cart it makes it easier to recycle. It's easier to recycle if it is at your curb. As you start this program you will see efficiencies," Davison told the council members.

Baird estimated the city will spend $15,000 to $20,000 to purchase the carts for the Buena Vista subdivision.

"Bob can analyze the system every week to determine if the pilot program is a success," said Finance Director Alyssa Kerker.

In other business during the regular meeting, Frank Bovina, manager of the Steel Valley Regional Transit Authority, asked the council to consider legislation that will allow the local transit system to permanently expand into Wintersville.

"Our pilot program in Wintersville has been successful and we would like to add the village to our system that now includes Steubenville and Mingo Junction," said Bovina.

He said similar legislation will be presented to members of the villages councils in Wintersville and Mingo Junction at their next meetings.

"If approved, we will realign the board of directors to increase the Steubenville representatives from three to four. The Mingo Junction directors will remain at two and Wintersville will have two members on the board. The next step would then be a 1.5-mill levy approved by a majority of voters of all three entities to replace our current 1.5-mill levy," Bovina added.

Second Ward Councilman Rick Perkins announced he spent two days driving through his ward and listing 87 properties with high weeds and grass.

"About two thirds were vacant lots or vacant houses. But the other third had people living in houses on the overgrown property. We must and we will get this cleaned up," said Perkins.

First Ward Councilman Gerald DiLoreto asked for a service committee meeting with Code Enforcement Officer Shawn Scott and Municipal Court Judge Dan Spahn to discuss high weed citations.

"I met with Cathy on Monday and we will have a meeting, but I want it in the evening so all of the council members can attend," replied 3rd Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf.

Council approved a recommendation from Davison to award a work project at the city sewage plant to Cattrell Cos., which submitted the low bid of $3,107,490.

And, council approved an ordinance to amend the city's table of organization that will eliminate a police captain position and authorize the hiring of a night shift police dispatcher in order to put an additional police officer on patrol.

The revised table of organization ordinance also eliminates the parks and recreation summer food kitchen staff and summer food program coordinator because the recreation board has approved contracting the annual summer food program to Sodexo Food Services.

Council also approved a resolution to proceed with the placement of a 5-mill real estate renewal levy on the November ballot.

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