Shelby County recycling wins award

SIDNEY — Shelby County representatives recently attended the Solid Waste Association of North America Buckeye Chapter 2018 Awards Presentation at the Grange Audubon Center in Columbus.

Shelby County and the Northwest Ohio Solid Waste District were announced as owning and operating the most technically advanced, small community, single-stream recycling facility in the state of Ohio and were named the 2018 Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator of the Year. On hand to accept the award were County Commissioners Julie Ehemann and Bob Guillozet and Dennis Baker, director of NCO.

The recycling facility began operations in the late 1980s as a multi-stream operation. In the 1990s, it converted to a dual-stream system as the recycling industry evolved. In preparing its solid waste plan in 2010, both Shelby County and other members of the Southwest Waste Management District recognized the continued evolution of the recycling industry and developed a program to assist facilities within the six-county area that needed to transition to single-stream processing. The recycling center began that transformation in 2015, culminating in 2017 with the final improvements that include a ballistic separator, air knife for glass processing, new baler, an eddy current and other standard, single-stream equipment.

To top off the improvements, a state-of-the-art, 45 kilowatt, solar power system was added. The solar power system powers roughly half of the base load of the facility over an entire year, with savings of more than $21,000 in operating expenses annually. In addition to these improvements, the facility also operates a permanent household hazardous waste program that was also improved with a new structure to better serve the public.

Shelby County with the Northwest Ohio Solid Waste District also developed Ohio’s first mobile household hazardous waste program for three of its six counties.