Wood County Solid Waste Authority awards grants

The Wood County Solid Waste Authority has awarded $30,000 from its 2017 grant period to local nonprofit organizations for recycled furniture to use in public areas throughout Wood County. Shown are Andy Hartleben, Board of Directors and chief deputy assessor for Wood County; Julie Barnes, Lubeck Elementary pre-k teacher with one of the benches awarded, and John Reed, director of the Wood County Solid Waste Authority. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Solid Waste Authority has awarded $30,000 from its 2017 grant period to local nonprofit organizations for recycled furniture to use in public areas throughout Wood County.

This public information campaign has been a priority from the Board of Directors since it began in 2009.

The campaign is designed to inform the public that by recycling there is a direct benefit to them, by getting recycled furniture into their parks, schools and public areas. To date, the authority has placed over 140 benches and 50 picnic tables throughout the county.

The latest campaign was recommended by Board of Director Andy Hartleben, the Wood County chief deputy of the Assessor’s Office.

This is the first time the board has allowed any qualified organization to submit a grant application, after which the board members reviewed all applications and based the awards on those that best served the public interest.

Over $69,000 in requests were received for the $30,000 that was allocated for this first grant period.

The campaign was supplemented by providing public information spots through local television, along with sending the information by direct mail to organizations who had seen the furniture in public areas, as each piece is tagged with a message stating that the furniture was made with 100 percent recycled plastic milk containers and provided by the Solid Waste Authority.

Hartleben said due to the overwhelming success of the program, he wishes to continue the grant program into at least next year.

“It informs the public as to a good reason to recycle, while at the same time providing our community with great high quality furniture in areas where they get a great amount of public use,” he said.

John Reed, director of the SWA, announced the following recipients list:

* Lubeck Elementary School – Benches and picnic tables for a new pre-k playground

* Lubeck Garden Club – Bench for the butterfly garden at Lubeck School

* Blennerhassett Elementary – Benches and picnic tables for the new playground

* Martin Elementary School – Benches and picnic tables for walking path and courtyard

* Daughters of the American Revolution – Benches for local cemeteries

* Junior League of Parkersburg – Benches for the JuLeP Playground

* City of North Hills – Benches for walking trail and dog park

* City of Parkersburg – Picnic tables for Point Park

* Friends of Parkersburg Parks – Benches and tables for Southwood Park

* Camden Clark Medical Center – Benches and picnic tables for outdoor eating area.

Reed said the board decided to give special consideration to an application from Isaac Waters, who is developing a project at Spencers Landing in Vienna for his Eagle Scout badge. Once the final design is finished and it is determined what is needed, the board will approve the award.

The voting members of the board that made the decisions, in addition to Hartleben, are David Blair Couch, Wood County commissioner; Paul Thornton, Vienna development director; Harold Taylor, local trash haulers representative; and Bob Buchannan, Mountwood Park Board of Directors.

”These board members really worked on this hard, requiring two meetings to reach the difficult conclusion of what best served the community,” Reed said. ”All of the applicants had worthy causes, and I think the board would have loved to fund them all.”

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