Butler County residents piling trash at curbs, but some suggest repurposing items

Amid the coronavirus crisis, Butler County residents have been leaving about 20 percent more trash at the curb for garbage collectors to pick up. Many are using the extra time at home, where they’re now working, to do more cleaning than usual.

Chris Maraschiello, a history teacher at the Hamilton Freshman School, has an even better idea: Donate useful things to Goodwill or another charity that can give the items new life.

Maraschiello, a teacher for 30 years, and his wife, Tracy, who teaches English at Hamilton High, spent two weeks gathering up items in the basement that had been outgrown by their kids, Nick, 15, and Kate, 11.

“What had accumulated in the basement was 15 years of kids’ stuff, and we had had two or three garage sales in the past 15 years, but we still had a ton of stuff,” Maraschiello said. “Our original idea, before this coronavirus (COVID-19) stuff, was to have a big garage sale.”

But after about three days of cleaning, Tracy said, “We’re never going to have a garage sale. Let’s get rid of this stuff.”

"So I took 12 trips of a fully loaded Equinox of stuff — bags, bins, just tons of stuff to the Goodwill," Chris Maraschiello said. "They kept getting sick of me."

“It was jammed packed. I put the seats down and everything. It was crazy. But the basement is almost empty. We saved some of the kids’ stuff, just for sentimentality.”

Some people, like the Marasciellos, are keeping busy, and getting to a task that they’ve wanted to do for a while. Others are emptying their residences in preparation for moves. Yet others, including many who recently have lost jobs, are doing spring-cleaning-plus, with the extra time available to them.

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Rumpke spokeswoman Molly Yeager said trash amounts people leave at Hamilton’s Rumpke transfer station, 1000 N. 3rd St., has been about the same as this time of year last year. But residents have been leaving about 20 percent more trash at the curbs.

“It’s taking our drivers definitely more time to pick up their normal routes,” she said.

The company hasn’t yet calculated how much less commercial garbage is being discarded because of businesses that are closed down under state orders because their operations are not essential.

“One thing people can do is make sure everything, for trash, is placed inside a plastic bag, even if you’re putting it inside a trash cart,” Yeager said. “This helps prevent things from blowing around, and also prevents the drivers having to actually touch any items, so it reduces the exposure risk for our drivers.”

Rumpke asks if you’re cleaning out a garage or other large area, don’t put all the items at the curb at once, but instead put it out through the time, or use the transfer station, which is open Mondays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Another option is to ask Rumpke for use of an open-top dumpster for large amounts of trash.

For people who recently have lost jobs, Yeager has some good news: “We are hiring. So if people are interested in work right now, please keep us in mind.”

People can go to rumpke.com, where jobs are available for people with commercial driver’s licenses. Rumpke does offer driver training, but it is limited now because of coronavirus restrictions. Other positions are available for mechanics and heavy-equipment operators.

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