‘There’s been constant abuse’: Fairfield Twp. removing park’s recycling dumpsters after problems

Residents in Fairfield Twp. have one less recycling option after people have created a nuisance in dumping non-recycling items, such as patio furniture, old mattresses and a taxidermy deer head, at the Shaffer’s Run Community Park in Fairfield Twp. Pictured is trash people left outside the recycling bins in July 2018. CONTRIBUTED
Residents in Fairfield Twp. have one less recycling option after people have created a nuisance in dumping non-recycling items, such as patio furniture, old mattresses and a taxidermy deer head, at the Shaffer’s Run Community Park in Fairfield Twp. Pictured is trash people left outside the recycling bins in July 2018. CONTRIBUTED

Fairfield Twp. 0fficials warned residents it would shut down one of its community recycling sites if abuse didn't stop, and they have now closed the site at Shaffer's Run Community Park.

“There’s been constant abuse,” said Fairfield Twp. Administrator Julie Vonderhaar of the seven recycling dumpsters and one trash dumpster at the park next to the Fairfield Twp. Police Department on Vonnie Vale Court.

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The township made efforts since last summer to ensure empty recycling dumpsters were available for residents, including placing one just for garbage, by increasing the number of times recycling and trash were picked up.

But people did not use the service responsibly, Vonderhaar said. Patio furniture, mattresses and a disassembled boat have been left in and outside the dumpsters designed to take paper and cardboard items, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, and small metal items.

“The board and administration are disappointed in the very small minority of people that have abused a great opportunity and affected the service for the entire community,” Vonderhaar said.

Anne Fiehrer Flaig, Butler County Solid Waste District coordinator, said about 95 percent of people use the recycling sites correctly. The township has two remaining sites, on Morris Road at the fire department headquarters and one at the soon-to-close Station 212 on Tylersville Road. That location will remain when the service department takes over that building.

“I think we’ve worked hand-in-hand with the township to find a solution to permit us to continue the program,” Fiehrer Flaig said.

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Vonderhaar hopes the township’s other locations won’t be abused.

“We’ll keep it if people can respect the rules and common courtesy,” she said.

Shutting the site down is not a unique issue for Fairfield Twp., said Fiehrer Flaig.

“Drop boxes are experiencing contamination all over southwest Ohio,” she said. “Rumpke has had to close a number of drop off locations.”

Vonderhaar believes closing this recycling location will encourage residents to participate in curbside recycling, and will allow township service crews to not have to clean up the recycling locations.

“It’s caused extra weekly work for them,” Vonderhaar said of the Shaffer’s Run site. “They were picking up couches, mattresses and all kinds of debris left in the dumpsters, and debris blew into our parks.”

Residents are responsible for trash and recycling services, but trustees have requested Vonderhaar seek quotes for the township to pay for those services.