Add the Columbus Metropolitan Library system to the growing number of places that offer recycling to customers.

Add the Columbus Metropolitan Library system to the growing number of places that offer recycling to customers.

On Nov. 14, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio awarded nearly $70,000 in community grants to support sustainability initiatives of local governments, organizations, schools and nonprofit agencies located within SWACO's district.

Included in that was $7,749 for 60 recycling containers spread throughout the Main Library, 20 branch libraries and the operations center.

The library's goal is to achieve a 25-percent increase in recycled materials through 2013.

"We're delighted to be one of SWACO's grant recipients," said Alison Circle, the library's chief customer experience officer.

"We have recycled paper and plastic in staff areas for several years and are thrilled to expand our efforts by giving our customers the opportunity to recycle easily in our locations," Circle said.

"We are committed to being a leading library and a community leader in promoting environmental sustainability in our facilities and our operations."

Library spokeswoman Kim Snell said the system wanted to expand a recycling program staff members initiated two years ago.

She said it's not unusual for patrons to bring plastic bottles, paper and recyclable food containers into the libraries.

"It should be cost-neutral, but the benefit to the environment makes it worth the extra effort," Snell said.

Other grant recipients

Other SWACO grant recipients include:

* Grange Insurance Audubon Center was awarded $7,956 to purchase six new containers to store trash and recyclables.

The containers will feature signage to increase recycling education for visiting event planners and caterers, groups and individuals.

The center is located within Scioto Audubon Metro Park and welcomes more than 50,000 nature-lovers, birding enthusiasts, groups and families annually.

* The city of Worthington Service Department was awarded $14,075 to replace 20 municipal trash cans with new dual-use enclosures throughout the central business district.

Each enclosure contains a trash receptacle and a receptacle labeled for co-mingled recyclables.

The goal is to divert 30 percent of the trash collected to recycling.

* Grove City Parks and Recreation was awarded $5,375 to purchase six recycling stations throughout the Big Splash Family Aquatic Center.

Each unit has four integrated internal bins to allow guests to sort their waste faster and more accurately.

Based on a study performed at the aquatic center last year, many recyclable items were thrown in the trash despite strategic placement of standalone bottle-shaped recycling receptacles.

* St. Joseph Montessori School was awarded $2,588 to purchase 40 new containers and 15 cutout lids to support a school recycling program.

The current recycling efforts of the 330 students and staff include composting, on-site paper recycling, and staff members personally transporting bottles, cans and corrugated cardboard to recycling drop off locations.

Budget constraints have prevented leadership from instituting a comprehensive recycling program to date.

* The city of Westerville Green Team was awarded $5,911 to purchase new compost bins, kitchen collectors and compost turners to educate the Westerville community on backyard composting.

After learning about the proper use of composting bins, residents will receive a composting bin, a kitchen composter and a turning tool to take home.

* Habitat for Humanity was awarded $4,400 to expand its targeted direct mail campaign to increase donations to the ReStore.

The campaign will target 10,000 homes in areas where Habitat previously picked up donations.

Experience proved that the first donation was often followed by donations from other homeowners in the same neighborhood, officials said.

ReStore is a home improvement discount store that collects donations of good-quality used and surplus building materials and other home products, then resells them to the general public at discount prices.

All proceeds from store sales benefit Habitat for Humanity-Greater Columbus and the local Habitat program.

* The Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission was awarded $11,250 to enhance its internet presence in conjunction with its "Go Green" program for the benefit of its city residents, businesses, community groups and organizations.

The website will show discernible ways to reduce waste, recycle, reuse materials and conserve energy and water, as well as provide information about recycling programs and services in Hilliard.

* Washington Township was awarded $7,000 to purchase 14 picnic tables made of post-consumer recycled plastic lumber to place in the Lakeside Pavilion at The Homestead, a township park.

Each 6-foot step-through picnic table uses the equivalent weight of 1,504 one-gallon milk jug containers.

The assembly and installation process will be offered to local Boy Scout agencies for an Eagle Scout project.

* The Prairie Township Fire Department was awarded $2,916 to purchase two picnic tables made of recycled plastic.

One table will be placed at each fire station and will be available to firefighters and the community.