Mandatory recycling begins July 1

Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune Recycling will become mandatory starting July 1 throughout Oberlin.

Mandatory recycling starts July 1 for residents and businesses in Oberlin.

The loss of six trucks and the city garage to a Feb. 15 fire forced city officials to purchase new machines and switch to single-use recycling.

Residents used to separate their recyclables into paper, glass, aluminum, plastic, and cardboard pins before the new program.

The new effort was launched after city council approved the purchase of five garbage trucks, two of them hybrid automated side-loading vehicles.

Lori Sprosty, the city’s recycling coordinator, said she has seen an increase each month in recycling since launching the new program.

“It’s so much easier,” she said, relaying praise from residents who like the single-stream system.

Public works director Jeff Baumann said the mandatory recycling will be required by each household and business to which the city has provided recycling bins.

Mandatory recycling will also include the Oberlin City Schools and Oberlin College. Sprosty started recycling programs in each school building before the end of the school year.

“The intent is to reduce our collective footprint on the environment,” Baumann said. “Recycling is mandatory in compliance with our goal.”

Oberlin city council has adopted the Climate Action Plan and Zero Waste Plan to reduce its impact on our planet.

It is unclear what the penalty will be for violators but Baumann expects a multi-tier notification system with warnings and fines.

He plans to give a presentation on the progress of Oberlin’s recycling program at the July 6 city council meeting.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.