BELLAIRE - The JB Green Team approved the purchase of 12 cameras and two vehicles for the purpose of catching and prosecuting persons illegally dumping in Belmont and Jefferson counties.
"Tons of junk have been dumped on private property, and now the JB Green Team is taking steps to combat the practice," JB Green Team Executive Director Cliff Meyer told the organization's board of trustees Monday night.
Meyer said the cameras will be distributed, six to each county, "Three will be placed to watch drop center locations and three others will be placed in problem dumping areas."
Each map representing illegal dump sites across Jefferson and Belmont counties, Union Township Trustee Tony Kolanski counts the push pins on the maps displayed at the JB Green Team meeting Monday evening at the Bellaire Public Library.
"So, illegal dumpers, you have been put on notice," said Meyer. "They are battery powered and can be moved which means as soon as illegal dumpers realize we are watching them in one place, we can move them to another location,"
The cameras record and have also have the capability to be viewed or downloaded from sheriff's cruisers from a range of two miles.
The board approved $15,000 for the cameras and secure containment boxes to house the units.
The board also approved $30,000 for each county sheriff's office to purchase a 4-wheel drive pick up truck to be designated as the litter prevention vehicle.
Solicitor John Mascio Jr. stated that the vehicles would be titled to each respective county's commissioners with the provision that if the program becomes defunct the title would revert back to the JB Green Team.
"I would like to thank the board for this program, it is fantastic," said Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland. "The township trustees can attest to the fact that this has been and continues to be a major problem in our area and I feel that the program will pay big dividends."
Meyer said that he had spoken with local judges who all expressed that they were very favorable of the program which will allow conviction of often difficult to prosecute illegal dumpers.
Chairman Bob Chapman agreed that the money would be well spent, "The payoff of catching the criminals will be worth it."
JB Green Team Fiscal Officer Dave Hays said the Apex Landfill received 106,359.77 tons of waste in July which is a 14 percent decrease since July of 2102.
"That is not out of state tonnage which is down, the decrease is from in district waste." Hayes cautioned. "Apparently the drill cuttings are not being counted."
The board voted to try and find a method to track the waste being generated from drilling and address the issue at the October meeting.
Chapman told the board that attendance at the October meeting was important because a vote to approve the new solid waste plan which must be submitted to the Ohio EPA by October 30.
James A. Skora, senior manager of GT Environmental, was on hand at the Bellaire Public Library Monday to deliver a presentation updating the board on the progress on the final phases of the proposal.
The study will include a one-year pilot study for a community curbside recycling program. According to Skora the target population for municipalities would be set at 4,000 or more with a target goal of 75 pounds per person generated.
The JB Green Team will receive a shipment of containers and offer free curbside recycling in Steubenville and Martins Ferry next month. Martins Ferry
Martins Ferry Mayor Paul Riethmiller stated that 755 letters were being mailed to residents of the 1st Ward and the first 400 responding would receive the containers. According to Riethmiller, the Lions Club has volunteered to assemble and deliver the tubs for the city.
Steubenville Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci said he has scheduled a meeting for Sept. 16 and will also direct mail 750 letters accepting the first 400 returned. The city of Steubenville will number the containers and provide the JB Green Team with a spreadsheet with names and address of recipients. The containers are scheduled for delivery on Oct. 14.
Executive Director Meyer also asked for funding approval to purchase a new rear loader to support the new curbside program. The current rear packer had over $7,000 in repair costs last month. The truck will cost $260,000 and will be purchased through the state cooperative purchasing program.
Meyer also told the board in the Director's Report that the curbside recycling materials collected had to be segregated and a bin at the cell would need to be constructed at a cost of $5,000. The board transferred $9,000 from the Capital Equipment fund into Building and Grounds to cover the construction, pad installation and block work.
Meyer also requested approval of adding a new labor position for one day per week. The part-time utility helper position will be finalized at the October meeting.
Skora also stated that GT Environmental research indicated Apex Environmental had applied for horizontal expansion but had not yet been officially approved which would force the JB Green Team to place a high generation fee due to a shortage of in district waste. If Apex would close in 2018 there would be the possibility of a maximum state high generation fee of $18 per ton. "This is just a contingency funding policy and unlikely that this would ever happen but it is something we need to address in the study."
The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 7 in Jefferson and Skora will present the final draft of the study for approval by the board.
Palmer may be reached at email@example.com