By: Melanie Williamson
A member of the audience at the Wednesday, June 7, Vermilion Township Trustees meeting addressed the trustees regarding the decision to close the recycling center. He stated that he found it highly disappointing that they would move forward with closing the recycling center without putting another plan in place to offer residents recycling. He went on to say the costs associated with the recycling center were a small fraction of the townships total budget, and he did not see why they could not have come up with a solution instead of just closing it.
Trustee Chris Decker responded that the township has paid $35,000 over the course of seven years to have the recycling center open. Further, when it was first opened, Erie County Waste Management was supposed to offer a program that would help the townships maintain their recycling centers, and that never happened. It was shared that seven years ago when the recycling center opened, there are 14 recycling centers throughout the area. They have all since closed due to abuse, and as each one closed, more and more trash was dumped at the remaining centers. The Vermilion Township Recycling Center was the last of those centers to close.
Decker asserted that there was so much trash being dumped in the recycling bins that the recyclable items were being sent to the landfill because there was too much trash mixed in. Additionally, Decker stated that even if the cost was a small fraction of the overall budget, it is their job to spend taxpayers’ money responsibly, and they did not feel spending money so people outside the township could use their recycling center as a trash dump was responsible.
Trustee Ron Dickle furthered the argument asserting that people weren’t just dumping bags of trash, but also furniture, appliances, tires, and other large items that had to be hauled away. These large items, which did not fit in the bins, made the area look like a trash heap. Dickle asserted that he went to the recycling center the week after they offered the bulk trash day, and the center was filled with garbage.
Decker shared that as of January 2017, trash haulers are required to offer roadside recycling for residents that request it. Any resident in the township can call and have that set up. He was not sure what the cost of that service was, but that it was available for anyone who wanted road side recycling. Vermilion Township residents are also allowed to take their recyclables right to the landfill located at 10102 Hoover Road in Milan.