Editor’s Note: First in a two part series about the area’s recycling district.
Today, April 22, is Earth Day. Over 190 countries and a billion people will participate in some type of Earth renewal action.
“I know it’s cliché, but for us everyday is Earth Day. It really is! “Aaron Bell said. He’s the executive director of the Southeastern Indiana Recycling District (SEIRD) and passionate about recycling, about being a good steward of our Earth. With spring in the air, and many cleaning out closets, plus the focus on Earth during April, it’s a good time to think about recycling, reuse and taking care of the land. He recalls when it hit him decades ago after buying a big stereo and speakers in college that the minute he walked out with the new fancy equipment, it became outdated. It’s hard to keep up with technology. And, that was years ago! We are so much worse today,” Bell said, adding a case in point. “We (SEIRD) collect nearly 200,000 pounds of electronics annually and fill a 53-foot semi every three weeks!”
Lisa Schlotman at the Osgood Re-Use Center sorts clothes. The eight centers in the district bring in about 1200 people weekly.
He knows now how long it takes for things like speakers, TVs and computers to biodegrade. “You think plastics are hard to break down, but these electronics never break down!”
A state law in 2011 banned electronics in regular trash pickup, but it also called upon manufacturers like Dell or Apple to have a plan and resources for disposal. Bell said SEIRD gets three or four calls a year from schools to remove computers, not to mention government centers and industries, and they’ll fill a couple of flatbed trailers with the loot. “But, that’s why we are there. We have to do something with it.”
The recycling district covers seven counties, Ripley being one. They exist to promote and practice good stewardship through Franklin, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Scott, Switzerland, and Ripley Counties. It was the ‘90s when the state mandated each county operate a solid waste district. It made sense to merge the less populated counties into a district. “It’s the largest geographical one in the state, and the only one serving seven counties,” Bell noted.
The district focuses on preserving the environment and public health and safety by leading in the proper management of solid waste. It’s accomplished through recycling, the reuse of items, and the reduction of materials entering landfills. There is no landfill in the seven counties. The county does have a Re-use Center, located in Osgood at N. Hasmer Hill. It’s open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, 9 to 3 p.m. and Saturday 8 to noon. The district has eight Re-Use Centers, with nearly 60,000 visitors annually.
A greener Ripley County
“Ripley County does a good job,” when it comes to recycling, Bell said. Consider the numbers from the 2013 annual report:
• The district recycling increased 15 percent;
• School recycling increased 20 percent, and they collect weekly at 50 schools;
• Non-standard recyclables realized a 23 percent increase;
• Satellite location recycling nearly doubled;
• Curbside recycling volume increased 20 percent; and
• Total recyclable pounds in Ripley County for standard materials collected last year was 357,880, the second largest in the district.
The total amount collected for SEIRD was nearly 6 million pounds. Non-standard recyclables, such as tires, batteries, electronics, and household hazardous waste, scrap metal and appliances, amounted to 912,098 pounds.
Editor’s note: What town is becoming “greener?” Check out Thursday’sThe Versailles Republican to find out and what products are harder to recycle or biodegrade.
Trust fund needs more applications
Only one application has been submitted for the Frank Tarter Community Trust and Ray Herman and Louise Herman Crum Community Trust, and the Trust officials encourage the public to apply. Applications for donations may be submitted by tax exempt organizations from the Osgood and the rural community surrounding Osgood. Due to IRS rules, only non-profit organizations are eligible.
Applications are available at the Comer and Ertel Law Office, 115 W. Ripley St., Osgood. Grant guidelines, applications and report forms can also be accessed on the Internet at the Ripley County Community Foundation website (rccfonline.org) under “grants.” The applications must be returned by April 30 to William Gloyd, trust committee chairman, PO Box 195, Osgood, 47037.
Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.
• Osgood going after grant for playground
• From the superintendent's desk: The mobile technology takeover, by Dr. Leanna Phillippe
• Looking Back: Through the eyes of an old Holton Warhorse
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