CALCUTTA-There is quite a contrast between St. Clair Township's recycling center on East Liverpool Road and the former East Liverpool city recycling center on Second Street. The former is a tidy formation of recycling bins with little or no trash around them and the latter, even abandoned, is an unsightly pile of furniture, tires and other trash strewn carelessly about a now vacant lot.
The East Liverpool city recycling center closed permanently last week, after a long struggle to stop illegal dumping at the site.
The Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison Solid Water District (SWD) operated the city's Second Street center and still operates St. Clair Township's recycling center.
The St. Clair Township recycling center on East Liverpool Road is a stark contrast to East Liverpool’s former recycling center, which was shut down by the Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison Solid Waste District last week. (Photo by Devin Bezeredi)
In a letter to City Council SWD cited "repeated unsuccessful attempts to maintain the site from all parties involved," as the reason for the Second Street site's closure.
City and SWD officials tried to remedy the situation with security cameras, law enforcement grants and other action to no avail. The city's environmental committee even considered moving the recycling center, speculating that part of the problem was its proximity to the highway and communities across the river in West Virginia.
SWD operates about 60 to 65 other sites in three counties, including Liverpool and St. Clair Townships, but SWD officials say nowhere was the company so badly plagued by illegal dumping as in East Liverpool.
A few miles away, St. Clair Township's recycling center is a very different story. Located on East Liverpool road near the old township administration building, the township's recycling center rarely sees illegal dumping on the scale of the city's former center, according to Trustee James Sabatini II. "A little bit of that goes on," said Sabatini. "It's something we keep an eye on."
With eight dumpsters for various recyclable materials the township's recycling center is a bit smaller in size but roughly the same configuration as the former city center.
Sabatini noted that illegal dumping does occasionally occur and the center has measures in place to prevent such activity. A sign at the site informs those using the recycling center to 'smile' for surveillance cameras and Sabatini noted that township police periodically monitor it as well.
Only time will tell whether the closure of the East Liverpool center will result in more use of the St. Clair Township's center. Whatever the future may hold Sabatini says he sees the closing of the city's center a negative for the entire area.
"It's a shame because it was a good thing for the city and the (surrounding) townships," said Sabatini of the former East Liverpool recycling center.