Recurrent litter and illegal dumping has resulted in the removal of two recycling trailers from the city of Pickerington, and Violet Township officials also warn fines could be administered to those who misuse the receptacles.

Recurrent litter and illegal dumping has resulted in the removal of two recycling trailers from the city of Pickerington, and Violet Township officials also warn fines could be administered to those who misuse the receptacles.

Roughly two weeks ago, the Fairfield County Solid Waste Authority removed two trailers formerly located adjacent to the Pickerington Water Reclamation Facility at 525 Hill Road South at the city of Pickerington's request.

According to City Manager Bill Vance, the city still supports recycling.

However, he said rather than helping to gather reusable materials and take volume burdens off regional landfills, the trailers and areas around them were, themselves, becoming a trash "dump" because people were filling them with non-recyclable materials.

They also were unloading materials at the sites without bothering to place them in the trailers, Vance said.

"I asked for them to be removed because these issues continue without interruption or improvement," he said. "It just turned into a dump."

In May, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources hailed the successes of recycling throughout Fairfield County by awarding Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Agency's recycling division with a $72,768.66 grant to expand recycling and litter-prevention programs throughout Fairfield County, as well as in Coshocton, Licking and Perry counties.

The agency was one of 23 entities statewide to receive such a grant.

At least for now, those expansion efforts don't appear headed for the local community.

In addition to problem Pickerington trailers, Violet Township director of operations Bill Yaple said similar illegal dumping and litter issues are ongoing at recycling sites in the township, including the Violet Township Service Center on Center Street and at Ohio University-Pickerington.

"They're discarding things that are not recyclable at some of the locations," Yaple said.

"They're also not placing materials, even if there's space, inside the bins," he said.

"They're continuing to place materials outside the bins and it's costing us staff time to help clean up around the bins," Yaple said.

"When it's windy, the trash blows around because there's no containment."

Yaple said he uses the recycling trailers himself, and believes their environmental benefits are worthwhile.

That's, in part, why he's reluctant to follow city action to have the township's trailers removed.

Instead, he's hoping those who use the trailers understand they could be subject to citations and fines of up to $500 for misuse.

"We've got too much stuff we're keeping out of the landfill when these (trailers) are used correctly," Yaple said.

"We ask residents to be mindful of the materials they're putting in and not set trash on the ground and let it blow everywhere," he said.

"It's a problem and I don't want to see (trailers) go away."

Yaple said the trailers have signs which clearly state the types of materials that can be dumped at recycling points.

He said additional signs state the potential consequences for illegal dumping and littering.

"We don't want to write tickets, but we're coming to our wits end," Yaple said.

"We want everyone to understand this is a community issue," he said.

"Take pride in our community and help us out."

In addition to the public recycling trailers, Vance noted city residents who are Rumpke refuse-hauling customers can obtain curbside recycling services for a fee.

He added the city would be open to bringing back and adding recycling trailers, but only if they are used responsibly.

"We would welcome discussions with the county solid waste authority about potentially returning the trailers to the community if we could figure out ways that the areas around them don't turn into a dump once again."