Trustee Mark Welch told the Journal-News he routinely uses the bins and it is a shame the service has to end.
“It’s a travesty, this is a service I think people in West Chester have come to enjoy, I do, I use it all the time,” Welch said. “But it’s like anything else, you get a few folks who abuse it and create a mess that causes more work and distraction and now we’re taking it out.”
Rumpke Communications Manager Molly Yeager said the problem is not just in West Chester it’s universal.
“They are not alone in this problem, this is an ongoing issue you see with drop boxes, you see illegal dumping that happens at the drop boxes but we also see people just putting incorrect items in the drop boxes and drop boxes are usually a higher source of contamination for recycling,” Yeager said. “One thing we did last year in an effort to reduce the contamination, we changed the lids out, we made smaller lids where people had to stop and think and they couldn’t just open the lids and drop anything in it.”
She said they marked on the lids what could be discarded and the largest items that fit are milk jugs or detergent bottles, “that really did help but what didn’t help was people just leaving it by the side of the dumpster.”
With the dumpsters departing residents who want to recycle must pay $4.75 per month for curbside service. Yeager said most communities in the county have that service option but there are rural townships to the north that don’t because “it’s not dense enough up there and it would be a much higher price.”
They estimate about 45% of all county households participate in curbside recycling service. The participation rate in West Chester is about 52% and Liberty Township is 48%. The cities of Hamilton, Middletown, Fairfield, Monroe, Oxford, Trenton and Ross Twp. provide recycling to all residents.
Anne Fiehrer Flaig, director of the Butler County Recycling and Solid Waste District, manages the recycling bin program — they take care of hauling away the receptacles — and she said it is a costly problem when people abuse the service.
“The challenge has been ongoing for probably the last 10 years with inappropriate use of the service,” Flaig said. “And it has created a lot of extra expense as the county because anytime we have to have those units pulled as trash it costs about twice as much as it is to have those units serviced as recycling.”