SIDNEY — Visitors to two of Sidney’s city parks may notice new recycling receptacles in place on poles near the river thanks to 21-year-old resident Sam Newman.
Newman, daughter of David and Shannon Newman, of Sidney, is a 2015 graduate of Sidney High School and currently studies Zoology at OSU Lima. Her love of nature and wildlife inspired her to install small bins in convenient locations to allow the recycling of used fishing line.
“(My parents and I) rescued a couple geese and there has been other wildlife that we’ve seen with fishing line injuries,” Newman said. “So, we wanted to try and find a way to reduce the amount of fishing line being thrown on the ground or disposed of incorrectly. Also, it’s a hazard to children and pets, so we were hoping that if we put these bins up, people will be more likely to put their lines in them.”
“She puts (the bins) in places where trash receptacles aren’t available,” said Newman’s mother, Shannon. “(Convenience) is the key.”
Newman said the decision to execute the plan of installing receptacle began just over a month ago. She had discovered the idea online while researching possible solutions to the issue of improperly discarded fishing line.
These recycling bins are commonly used in parks throughout the country, Newman said, and are inexpensive to construct and install. Newman’s father, David, helps with building and setting up the receptacles.
The bins are constructed out of PVC pipe and installed on poles using metal adapters and screws.
Newman consulted City of Sidney Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier, who gave her approval to install receptacles throughout the parks. She was given the authority to determine the best locations for the bins.
“I always knew that fishing line was an issue for wildlife, but (when) Sam shared some of the photographs of water fowl that she was involved in helping, it was blatantly obvious that this is a need,” Gaier said. “We are fortunate to have people like Sam who take the initiative on her own to make a difference and not rely on someone or some entity to do it for her.”
Newman said she will empty the bins, collect the fishing line, and send it to the Berkley fishing company, where it will be used for the production of new line.
As of now, Newman has installed three receptacles; one at Tawawa Park and two at Roadside Park. She currently has plans to install two more at Tawawa.
“It would be nice to get them at every place that needed them,” Newman said. “It’s going to take time to get there.”
Overall, Newman’s hope is to bring awareness to this issue in order to inform park-goers of the danger of improperly disposed fishing line, as well as to ensure that parks remain safe for people, children, pets, and the wildlife that inhabit them.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.