October 20, 2014

Elyria
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County readies new recycling center in Elyria

ELYRIA — The county’s new recycling collection center will open for business Saturday.

The new Lorain County Collection Center at 540 S. Abbe Road will open Saturday. (CT photo by Bruce Bishop.)

The new Lorain County Collection Center at 540 S. Abbe Road will open Saturday. (CT photo by Bruce Bishop.)

The sprawling center, which will take up about 44,000 square feet, is located in the former Elyria Flea Market just north of East Broad Street and South Abbe Road, which was donated to the Lorain County Port Authority after the building’s roof collapsed under the weight of 500,000 gallons of rainwater that accumulated on the roof after a heavy rainstorm.

The center will allow county residents to drop off household hazardous waste, computers and televisions, scrap tires and fluorescent light bulbs.

Residents will be able to pull up inside a covered drive­through to drop off their mate­rial at the center. It will replace the mobile collection sites the county Solid Waste Manage­ment District has used for years to collect items that aren’t typically collected by trash hauling companies.

“This is going to be a lot safer than the mobile collections,” said Keith Bailey, who will take over as the county’s Solid Waste director next month.

Bailey replaces Dan Billman, who is retiring after 11 years in the job, next month.

“This is actually the last thing I wanted to accomplish before I retired,” said Billman, 68.

After the items are collected at the center, Billman said they will be sorted and sent to other companies, which will handle the actual recycling.

County Commissioner Ted Kalo, who sits on the Solid Waste Policy Committee, said the county has been trying to get a collection center opened for years. Now that it’s actually going to be open for business, he said it should make recycling easier for residents, who previously may have had to wait months to get rid of scrap tires and old paint.

Lorain County has increased its recycling rate significantly in recent years, Kalo said, with the introduction of the controversial “pay-as-you-throw” system that most communities in the county have adopted. Under most of those systems, residents are issued a large trash bin and a recycling bin that they place on their curbs for automated collection by Allied garbage trucks.

“The recycling rate is up to about 18 percent from about 10 percent,” Kalo said.

Billman said no other solid waste district in the state has a similar collection center, even the Delaware-Knox-Marion-Morrow Solid Waste District, where Bailey served as director until he was let go last year.

“It’s the first of its kind in the state, so we didn’t have a template to go by,” Billman said.

County Administrator Jim Cordes said part of the approximately 95,000-square-foot building is being used for a maintenance garage for Lorain County Transit. The building still has some square footage available for renters, he said.

Renovating the building to accommodate the collection center — which cost more than $200,000 — was paid for out of Solid Waste money, Cordes said, not from the county’s ailing general fund. Renovations for the maintenance garage, which opens later this month, is being paid for by federal transportation dollars, he said.

Collection Center hours

  • Noon to 6 p.m. Mondays
  • Noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays
  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays The first day the center is open is this Saturday and will feature festivities in the parking lot.

Accepted

  • ◾Corrosives including acids, rechargeable batteries and hydraulic brake fluid.
  • ◾Flammables including aerosol cans, solvents, paint, paint thinner and lighter fluid.
  • ◾Reactives including fertilizers and pool chlorine.
  • ◾Toxics including household bleach, antifreeze and herbicides.
  • E-scrap including televisions, computers, monitors, software, microwave ovens and cell phones.
  • ◾Scrap tires.
  • ◾Fluorescent lamp bulbs and ballast.

Not accepted

  • ◾Ammunition, explosives, road flares.
  • ◾Biomedical/infectious waste, prescription medications.
  • ◾Appliances.
  • ◾Automotive batteries.
  • ◾Used motor oil or transmission fluid.
  • ◾Non-fluorescent lamp bulbs.
  • ◾Tires with rims greater than 20 inches.
  • ◾Radioactive materials.
  • ◾Curbside recyclables — plastic, metal, glass, paper and cardboard.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.