Groups kick off Marietta Earth Day celebrations with recycling event

Marietta College volunteer Lexi Jobe hands a computer monitor to Christopher Imm of Athens-Hocking Recycling Center to be recycled on Saturday morning. (Photo by Tyler Bennett)

MARIETTA — Washington County residents had the opportunity to safely recycle unwanted items during a recycling drop-off event as part of the Marietta Earth Day Celebration on Saturday.

Calling it the “Hard to Recycle Materials Event,” residents were allowed to donate items that are not normally allowed to be recycled due to unsafe chemicals in the materials or for those just wanting their items to go to the right place, according to Kathy Ortt, Marietta Earth Day Celebration committee member.

“It’s pretty special, we’ve not had one like this in the area because we are collecting a wide range of materials,” Ortt said. “Our hope is that all of these materials, besides the garbage, is going to be recycled or repurposed. We don’t want this around landfills.”

Some of the items that were donated were textiles (clean clothing), hard-bound books, rechargeable and car batteries, scrap metal, medical supplies and equipment, clean mattresses and box springs, and electronics, with televisions — from tube to flat screens — being the biggest hit.

“I’ve had this TV for a year and a half and it does nothing but get in the way,” resident Charles Pridgeon said. “I think it’s wonderful. Easily you’ve got to have this once a year to get rid of stuff like that.”

Volunteer James O’Neill carries a television to be recycled on Saturday morning. (Photo by Tyler Bennett)

People could also dispose of a trash bag of unwanted items for $3.

Unable to host it at the Armory with the normal festive atmosphere as in the past, Ortt said that the committee wanted to set up satellite events that were spread outside on multiple days instead.

Todd Comer, a professor at Marietta College and an environmentalist, dropped of a metal tire wheel that he is unable to recycle in the area.

A former Parkersburg resident, who now lives in Harmar Village after being away from the Mid-Ohio Valley for 20 years, Comer said that these events are needed in the area to take care of the environment by properly recycling items.

“I think it is fantastic, people put huge amounts of dangerous objects in their trash and think how common it is,” Comer said. We have a hard time recognizing change because, by the time we figure out stuff, we’re 60 or 70 years old. So I think this raises some amazingly important awareness about an event that for the most part, for most of us is hidden.”

Marietta College volunteer Alex Fries carries a television to be recycled on Saturday morning. (Photo by Tyler Bennett)

Fellow resident Jeanne Wilson appreciates the event.

“Totally necessary,” she said. “I appreciate it. I had to drive to Athens to do this before. So I’m just so grateful that Marietta is doing it now too,”

Wilson also said that she hopes that events similar to these will continue throughout the year.

The event was sponsored by the Marietta Area Recycling Center, Rural Action, Athens-Hocking Recycling Center and Peoples Bank.

Tyler Bennett can be reached at tbennett@newsandsentinel.com


Upcoming Events


* Various activities April 17 at the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Williamstown, including a bird walk at 8:30 a.m., a Marvelous Mussels presentation at 11 a.m., and a kayak/canoe river clean up at 1:30 p.m. at the Williamstown boat ramp.


* Recycling day for kids from 1-3 p.m. April 18 at the Marietta Recycling Center on Gilman Street.


* Earth Day at the Armory on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with events around the downtown area. A bird walk will be held at 8:30 a.m. Contact hewitt@earth-maker.com to register.

* A scavenger hunt will be held 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Start Westward Monument in East Muskingum Park. A tree planting is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the west end of the Putnam Street bridge, with a family bike ride starting at 1 p.m. at the Armory.

* Yoga at Sunset will be at the East Muskingum Park gazebo area at 7 p.m.


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