Home Environment City Council talks recycling initiatives and street closings

City Council talks recycling initiatives and street closings

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City Council further discussed consideration for a recycling grant from The Recycling Partnership at last night’s meeting.

Councilmember Ken Butler, D-4th Ward, introduced an ordinance to purchase 64 gallon recycling containers to better accommodate the single-stream recycling program, a recent change in the recycling process that allows for unsorted recyclables.

The larger containers would replace the current 18 gallon size, and funding would be supplied partially by a grant providing $80,000 for recycling carts. Athens would contribute $155,000.

Councilman Jeffrey Risner, D-2nd Ward, advocated for larger recycling bins, noting that nearly 30 years ago Athens became the first city in Ohio to recycle city-wide.

“Now everybody’s doing it, and they’ve done it so well they’ve beat us,” Risner said. “Other communities went single-stream a long time ago, and they’ve got bigger containers.”

Risner also said the 64 gallon recycle containers are barcoded, so the weight of recyclables in the container can be calculated to see how much people are recycling each week.

Councilmembers Michele Papai, D-3rd Ward, and Chris Fahl, D-1st Ward, addressed concerns from citizens of the 64 gallon containers as being too large. Papai went on record in support of the grant, but advocated to discuss “different options for different people.”

Councilmember Jennifer Cochran, D-At Large, reminded the committee that this discussion “follows on the heels of recommendations that came out of an ad-hoc committee last year.”

The committee made recommendations that would suggest a move toward uniform receptacles for trash and recycling, Cochran said.

Mayor Steve Patterson gave an update on the availability of the city pool for the summer season. Patterson said a patch that was tested over a tear in the pool liner “appeared to have worked” and will be used in the summer. The patchwork will fall under the general maintenance fund for the pool; Patterson estimates the cost to be $4,000 to $7,000.

Council adopted an ordinance introduced by Papai authorizing construction for the bridge resurfacing and “City of Athens” sign installation on state Route 682. Papai noted there would be some road closure at some point due to the construction.

Council later agreed to close down a portion of Mill Street on May 14 for The Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, an international event sponsored in part by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Russ College of Engineering.

Council also discussed street closings for Ohio Brew Week and the King Midget High Street Challenge, but nothing was agreed upon.

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