By Dedra Cordle
The village of Urbancrest has given its seal of approval for a revised management plan from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.
At its Oct. 10 meeting, village council unanimously approved the adoption of the plan, which is required by law to be updated every five years.
According to Kyle O’Keefe, SWACO’s director of innovation programs, there will be more of a focus on waste reduction education in both the private and public sector.
“We will put a larger focus on recycling and how to keep these materials out of the landfill,” he explained.
The revised plan states they will launch new educational campaigns and resources for communities and residents to “increase participation and improve basic knowledge on how to recycle properly.”
Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. said that was welcome news.
“Recycling is very popular in the village,” he said, “but not everyone knows what can and cannot be recycled.”
He said some of the confusion stems from whether common recyclable materials that had food waste on them could be thrown into the recycling bin or just thrown in the trash.O’Keefe said that with this plan, there would be more communication with community leaders to develop a customized waste reduction plan.
During this discussion, council members said they would like to see more recycle bins in the Bending Brook apartment complex.
O’Keefe said in the past, not many apartments and condominiums were included in the recycling program, but the revision calls for the analyzation of this often neglected sector.He added that new programs may consist of incentives to start recycling and an influx of resources and educational materials for residents.
One area that produces a lot of waste, said O’Keefe, was businesses.
“Almost 60 percent of materials in the landfill is generated by commercial businesses and institutions.”
He said the revised plans calls for incentives to start or expand recycling programs, as well as offering educational resources such as training sessions and waste assessments.
Among the other revisions featured in the plan include new grant opportunities, research on the economic impact of recycling within the districts and educational programs about the importance of the Environmental Crimes Task Force and their role in the community.When asked if the residents would see a rate hike to cover the programs in the new management plan, O’Keefe said they will not. He said SWACO would continue to use a $5 generation fee, which is collected on every ton of waste generated within the district and landfilled.
The district is described as the jurisdictions within Franklin County and political subdivisions with over 50 percent of their population in Franklin County.
In other news, resident and former mayor Marlin West went before the council to speak of a small stretch of uneven road on First Avenue.According to West, the patch, which is adjacent to the municipal hall, poses a hazard for motorists due to the numerous potholes located within.
Fiscal officer Kathy Thimmes said the engineers have been advised of the problem and it will be remedied soon.