Officials discuss recycling efforts

Photo by Janelle Patterson Glass bottles are among the many materials collected at the Marietta Area Recycling Center on Gilman Avenue.

MARIETTA — Reduce, reuse, recycle.

The mantra is often repeated in schools, on egg cartons and by those conscious of the environmental implications of waste piling up in landfills, particularly on Earth Day.

“But recycle is the last resort to keep these materials out of a landfill,” said Kathy Ortt, volunteer coordinator of the Marietta Area Recycling Center. “We hope that people will first reduce their waste and then reuse the materials that they can, or make that material available for others to reuse.”

Geoff Schenkel, a local artist with pieces on display both in his own studio in Harmar and at the John Rossi Art gallery on Front Street in Marietta, said much of his work is through reusing found items as basis for his work.

“We just finished installing work in the Marietta College Band Hall as part of this weekend’s Brick Street Arts Bash,” he said Friday. “The majority of my work is in metal, wood, fabrics and paper but we haven’t ever set up something quite this size before. It’s a pretty eclectic sampling of materials.”

Photos submitted by Geoff Schenkel Furniture and accessories made out of reused materials are installed in the Marietta College Band Hall on Third Street for the Brick Street Arts Bash Saturday.

Ortt said not only do artists come by the recycling center for materials like glass and metals, but painters ask for cardboard and farmers ask for shredded paper for animal bedding and garden beds.

“There’s a whole satellite industry for reuse and we encourage it,” she said. “We make no money on hauling glass so come and take what you need, just be safe.”

Rob Reiter, head of the Southeastern Ohio Joint Solid Waste Management District, said curbside recycling collections have decreased in recent years.

“Marietta had approximately 1,400 tons of recycling in 2015 but that dropped a couple hundred in 2016,” he said. “But in Belpre’s 600 tons a year and Barlow’s 120 tons a year has been steady.”

But Ortt said she has seen an increase in area recycling at the center, especially in plastics.

“We’re on track for another 10 percent increase in plastics,” she said. “We’ve seen year after year an increase in what people are putting an effort in to recycle. Now we’re hauling a plastics load every one and a half weeks. When I started in 2014 it was only twice a month.”

Jessica Munnell was at the recycling center Friday with a colleague from the Colegate Woods Veterinary Hospital breaking down cardboard boxes for recycling.

“We do it for our office and come at least twice a week,” she said. “From the shipments we get or any cans and plastic and paper people bring from home, it’s better for the environment this way.”

Reiter said the area does have some special collections dates coming up for those looking to rid themselves of old refrigerators, hot water heaters, television sets, tires and other appliances.

For more information about recycling options in Washington County visit:


Upcoming Collection Dates

* All collections to take place at the old Washington County Garage: 1405 Colegate Drive, Marietta.

* All collections are free to Washington County residents.

* Appliance Collection: May 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

* Computer/TV Collection: Aug. 14-16: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* Scrap Tire Collection: Oct. 21: 8 a.m. to noon.

Source: Southeastern Ohio Joint Solid Waste Management District