The Times West Virginian


April 4, 2013

Building more local control would be boost for recycling

While recycling is not a legal requirement in Marion County, there has been a strong effort to make it an ongoing part of our everyday lives.

The Marion County Solid Waste Authority (MCSWA), for example, has recycling locations across the county — behind Wilson Ford, North Marion High School (assisted by the NMHS Going Green Club), the Family Dollar in Fairview, across from Alasky’s warehouse in Idamay, the Pleasant Valley Municipal Building parking lot in Kingmont, Novelis parking lot on Speedway in Fairmont, the Paw Paw Fairgrounds in Rivesville, the Worthington Volunteer Fire Department and the MCSWA’s office on U.S. 250 near the Barrackville turnoff.

Three new large recycling bins and a truck with a hook system to empty the bins were purchased last year with a grant for $102,539.91 from the Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP) through the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The sites have been popular.

Unfortunately, there was a temporary glitch in the program last month — because of a problem in neighboring Monongalia County.

Residents were asked to temporarily stop bringing their recyclables to the MCSWA locations. Bobbi Benson, executive director of MCSWA, said the authority takes its recyclables to the Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority to have it processed, but Monongalia County’s baler broke.

“They usually process it and market it for us and give us a percentage of the profit,” she said.

Fortunately, there is planning under way that has the potential to make recycling in Marion County a more efficient and profitable endeavor and cut the dependance on the Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority.

The MCSWA has purchased property and a building known as the old bucket factory in Idamay, which is adjacent to the Marion County Landfill. The plan is to turn the building into a sorting center where recycled items can be taken and processed, allowing the MCSWA to deal directly with those who want to buy recycled materials. The property was purchased for $175,000, which the MCSWA earned by selling gas and oil rights around the landfill to a gas company.

MCSWA officials are hopeful of finding companies that would do the necessary work to prepare the plant either in exchange for the construction materials that are in the building or for that plus a low price.

Because of the need for funding, this project won’t happen overnight. The MCSWA can apply for a REAP grant every other year and therefore has to wait until this year to request another one, Benson noted last fall.

Other efforts are also under way to improve recycling in the county.

When Fairmont renewed its contract with Republic Services, for example, it included a provision to expand the recycling program.

“We wanted to place a greater emphasis on recycling,” City Manager Jay Rogers said.

With the new system, the current blue tub would be replaced with a green 65-gallon cart residents can fill with all their recyclable goods — plastic containers (plastics Nos. 1-7), aluminum cans, glass bottles of all colors, “junk mail,” phone books, corrugated cardboard, paperback books, newspapers and more.

Rogers said he’s also looking forward to working out a way to make recycling accessible in city parks and for downtown Fairmont.

Students and faculty from Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College, meanwhile, are involved in the club STAND (Students Taking Action in Nature’s Defense). STAND does everything from putting recycling bins throughout the campus to trash cleanups along the streets of Fairmont.

We appreciate all that is being done to make recycling as convenient as possible and trust work will continue to allow Marion County to have more direct control of its efforts. Recycling must be a habit and we don’t need to take breaks — even if they are temporary.

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  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

  • Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths

    Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
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    That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.

    April 4, 2014

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