Cleanup numbers aiming to top 2013

PARKERSBURG – Thousands of old tires, cans of paints and obsolete electronics were collected during the Wood County Spring Cleanup at the Erickson All-Sports Field on Saturday.

John Reed, director of the Wood County Solid Waste Authority, said the collection was free and open to all Wood County residents. Acceptable items for the 2014 cleanup were tires, with or without rims; paint; batteries; cell phones; computers; computer monitors; televisions; major appliances; metals; propane tanks and fluorescent lightbulbs.

From 8 a.m. Saturday when the gates opened until noon, a line of cars waiting to get to the site was backed up onto Camden Avenue, Reed said. The tires and other items collected were running at levels higher than last year, he added.

“It looks like on tires we are going to match what we did last year, around 8,000 to 9,000 tires” he said. “We are far exceeding the number of electronics. TVs seem to be the big problem to get rid of. We’ve hauled out one semi tractor-trailer and we’ve got two more loaded so we’ll have three or four full loads of televisions and other electronics.”

Reed said the mix this years seemed to be 75 percent televisions and 25 percent computers and other electronics. Organizers filled three roll-offs of paint by noon, coming close to 2013’s total of five.

“Metal was surprising this year,” he said. “We’ve taken one full dumpster out. That is good for us because RJ Recycling does the metal and they give some of the money back to the solid waste authority to cover operating expenses and they give us all the money they collect from batteries.”

Chris Cartwright, with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection R.E.A.P. program, said by noon Saturday about 4,000 used tires had been collected.

“We’ve had 4,000 as of noon,” he said. “It’s been pretty busy, it’s been almost non-stop since they dropped the gates at 8 a.m. (Saturday).”

Cartwright said this would be the only tire collection for Wood County, as WVDEP does at least one in each county. Officials ask those dropping off old tires to have a valid ID for the county where the collection is taking place, he said.

Reed said the cleanup is a once-a-year event, usually at the end of April or early May. For those who missed the cleanup Reed said they can set the items out for collection by their refuse hauler.

“They have to take TVs and electronics from the consumer at least once a month,” he said. “That has been one of the problems we’ve had. A couple of years ago the state (of West Virginia) passed a law banning disposing of TVs and electronics in a landfill and that confused some into thinking they could not give it to their trash hauler.”

Reed said haulers are still required to take them at no additional cost.

Some people who were at the cleanup site Saturday said they were glad there was a way to dispose of electronic items. Lisa Broadwater, of Lubeck, said she was surprised how fast she was able to get through and dispose of an old console television.

“I was expecting to sit here for hours,” she said. “I drove right in and drove right out and unloaded this awful TV that I’ve been holding onto for years.”

Broadwater said Saturday’s drop off was her first experience with the cleanup.

“I think this is just great,” she said.

Jim Osborn, of Williamstown, dropped off an obsolete photo scanner at the cleanup. He said he has dropped off items at the cleanup before.

“We’re real happy this exists and we’re here every year,” he said. “Unfortunately, in photography equipment is outdated quickly.”

Reed said the cleanup was administered by the solid waste authority and was made possible with financial assistance from major sponsors DuPont Washington Works and Waste Management.