Costs expected to rise for Mahoning County recycling program

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - Mahoning County is taking bids for its drop off recycling program, and customers can expect costs to rise.

Instead of selling bottles, glass and cans, the county knows it will have to pay to get these materials hauled away. The problem is contamination. That’s when people put things that aren’t recyclable in their bins.

Even in the recycling bin at Oakhill Renaissance Place, where the Green Team is headquartered, there is contamination in the recycling bin. There was a Styrofoam cup inside and despite a clear warning on the side of the bin. Several plastic bags were also found inside. That kind of contamination is driving up costs.

“In years past, they wanted more volume to go through, but it also increased the level of contamination that we were collecting. Now, there is a rethink on how to move forward with this,” said Lou Vega, director of Mahoning County Green Team.

The county may say that it will no longer recycle glass. They could adjust hours and locations could be cut. They will also try to convince people not to put trash in the bins.

Sorting out the trash from the recyclables can be confusing and mistakes are easy to make. John Grim thought he was pretty well-versed in recycling but there were still items he found that he wasn’t 100 percent sure about.

“Maybe more education needs to be out there,” Grim said.

The county will decide what they will ultimately do after the bids come back in three months.

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