Recycling is confusing local residents, according to the Lorain County commissioners.
The discussion came in their July 17 meeting when it was time to accept the Solid Waste Management Plan, which they unanimously approved.
Commissioner Lori Kokoski mentioned the prospect of possibly producing a video to help people know what is recyclable and what is not.
But Lorain County Administrator James Cordes said the problem with that is the different trash hauling companies have different rules which have caused so much confusion.
“We’ve tried to get stickers to get on the containers (with details on what’s recyclable), but then the stickers aren’t in conformity with what the hauler is recycling or taking to various locations,” Cordes said. “People are confused. I’m confused and we run the department.”
Cordes said he’d found out his own attempts at recycling would be tossed out at the recycling facility and resorted.
“I thought I was doing a good job recycling,” he said.
With two or three different haulers across the community, Cordes said he’s not sure how to make this information more available to the public without sending mixed messages.
“But we have to start somewhere,” he said. “It’s become more difficult for the community to embrace recycling. I think they want to.”
Cordes said Lorain’s controversial move to the cart system, which was meant to make recycling easier for the residents, is “failing miserably” because the haulers are bringing in so much unsorted trash from the city that it is crippling the recycling center.
“If we don’t improve things soon, we’re going to end up with less recyclables and more in the landfill,” he said.
“We’re going backwards,” Commissioner Sharon Sweda added.
The commissioners then approved $420,000 in funding for the 2019 Community Incentive Grants.
Tiffany Barker, communications director for the Lorain County Solid Waste Management District, attended the meeting to discuss some of the particulars of this year’s grants.
“We have a unique list of communities that are thinking outside of the box,” Barker said.
Communities are seeking funds to purchase such things as roofing, garage doors and decking all made from recycled content, she said.
As part of this round of grants, the district is asking communities to dedicate up to 10% of the funds they receive to advertise for recycling, Barker said.
“I think one of the best ways we can address this, because it is a very fluid market these days and we just don’t know from one month to the next how it is going to impact us, is focusing on online and social media,” she said.
In other news, Jen Kennedy, interim director of Visit Lorain County, announced Red Iron Bar & Grille, 137 W. Herrick Ave. in Wellington, won this year’s King of Wings competition.