MOUNT VERNON — When people discard of their trash and other non-compostable items at the Knox County Recycling & Litter’s Compost Facility on Thayer Road, the illegal dumping creates a time-consuming drag on Recycling and Litter coordinator Randy Canterbury’s time. He operates essentially as a one-man department.
During his presentation Tuesday before Knox County Commissioners, Canterbury detailed his forthcoming grant application due Feb. 1 to Ohio EPA. He would use $12,600 in proposed funding to purchase two highly-functional security cameras for placement on poles, one of which would have night vision capability to visually capture license plates. The purpose would be to catch people in the act of using the compost facility as their dumping ground, and thereby stop the behavior from re-occurring.
For residential use only, the compost facility accepts grass clippings/leaves, shrubs, brush, trees limbs under 10 inches in diameter, and Christmas trees without ornaments. It is not accept tree limbs larger than a 10-inch diameter, tree trunks or roots, wood of any kind, treated landscape timbers, paper yard bags or plastic trash bags — and certainly not residents’ trash. This time of year it is only open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. while being open three days per week from April through October.
If the grant application succeeds, it will also include a matching grant of 25 percent from DKMM (the Delaware Knox Marion Morrow Solid Waste District) along with Recycling & Litter chipping in nearly $1,000. Canterbury has asked for bids from Custom Wired LLC on the cameras and other project components. The project would include educational fliers — sent in water bills, telling people how to recycle correctly including the need not to submit glass items.
“Some carriers won’t take (glass),” he said. “We’ll give them some ideas where they can take that.”
Should the Ohio EPA grant not go through, Canterbury said DKMM has offered that it would still commit $5,600 to the project, but the rest would have to come from the county. The need to stop illegal dumping is important.
“It’s an ongoing problem,” board of Commissioners President Teresa Bemiller said. “We had security cameras (previously) and they were stolen. I mean, it (composting) is such a good service. We’d hate to see it ruined because people dump things they shouldn’t.”
Canterbury also updated commissioners on several other county Recycling & Litter items:
•Spring Cleanup Day along roads and highways is scheduled from April 1 through April 27, with the last Saturday day of that month reserved for participants to take their items to the Knox County Fairgrounds;
•A project to be taken on will be informing the public that Walmart and Kroger accept not only plastic bags for drop-off, but other plastic items like newspaper-holding bags, ziplock-type bags and sandwich bags (if clean), toilet-paper holding plastic wrap and other plastic items;
•Document Destruction Day is scheduled for April 27 in the county courthouse parking lot in conjunction with CES Credit Union;
•He informed commissioners that county residents have started to express interest in having the county create an Adopt-A-Road program, in which different groups, such as non-profits, would commit to cleaning and beautifying a 2-mile stretch of a township road of their choice. One group has already expressed interest in maintaining Pipesville Road near Howard;
•He has been working with villages throughout the county on the possibility of receiving Coca-Cola grants, which are not monetary but instead supply recycling receptacles to be stationed in public places. They are wired cage style receptacles, and high in quality, with a grant request to be made on behalf of all villages based on how many each would like to have (up to eight). A ribbon-cutting ceremony is required for villages that receive the grants, he added.