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Recycling is county's hope to cut trash bill

Lucas County hopes to start a recycling program to lower its nearly $50,000 annual trash bill and, in the process, help the environment.

The county commissioners heard a proposal yesterday about entering into a deal with a trash hauler who would pay for recyclable paper generated by county offices.

“I think it's a wonderful idea that we have the opportunity to receive a check rather than send a check,” Sandy Isenberg, president of the commissioners, said.

Jan Jump, the county's director of support services, said the county is paying $47,000 for garbage pickup and medical waste removal at all county buildings, such as the jail, the coroner's office, and the sheriff's office.

John Minear, director of the county's public service department, said the program will have to go through a bid process, but early estimates are that recycling could save the county 10 percent on its trash bill.

“We should see a significant reduction in costs to Lucas County,” Mr. Minear told the commissioners.

He said about 80 percent of the material thrown out by county offices is paper or cardboard that could be recycled.

For the program to be effective, Mr. Minear said, the commissioners will have to require participation from all the offices that answer to them. He said other elected officials have expressed interest in having recycling in their offices.

He said municipalities such as Maumee and Sylvania would be included in the bid if their officials are interested in participating. “There's been a lot of interest to get recycling going,” he said.

He said the proposal could enter the bid stage before the end of the year and be implemented by spring.

The commissioners also learned yesterday that Mr. Minear is resigning after nine years at the county to take a job with Waste Management, the world's largest refuse and recycling company.

Mr. Minear will travel through Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia doing public relations and marketing for the company's municipal accounts.

His last day with the county is Nov. 2. He starts his new job Nov. 5.

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