The Green Scene an email publication of the Mahoning County Solid Waste District
Green Team

Inside this issue

YSU News
Placemat Contest
Rural Recycling Coordinator Spotlight
Eating Clean & Green
Gift Card Program
Winter Deicing Tips
Christmas Tree Recycling
E-Waste  News

Green Team

Vow to Drink Responsibly in 2018

   When the bottled water craze began in the 1970’s many people dismissed it as a passing fad. Water was available on tap. Who in the world would pay for such a commodity? Fast forward to today and observe how that “passing fad” has evolved  into a multi-billion dollar industry.  According to the website  Americans pay an average of $1.57 for an eight ounce bottle of water and purchase more than a half billion bottles every week. This is a staggering amount.
   So... what kind of  impact does this obsession with bottled water have on the 
environment? Here are some interesting facts: 

  • 40% of bottled water is tap water.
  • Bottling and shipping water is the least energy efficient method ever used to supply water.
  • Each year, making plastic water bottles used in the U.S. takes enough oil and energy to fuel a million cars. 
  • Bottled water is now the  most popular beverage in the United States.
  • 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself.
  • Only 20% of water bottles are recycled. 
   Fortunately, due to awareness campaigns by environmental organizations, consumption of bottled water is starting to lose its momentum. Recently, the bottled water industry noticed a slight decrease in sales while the purchase of refillable bottles experienced an increase. Hopefully, this is an indication of good things to  come.

   If you are one of the millions of Americans who enjoy drinking water, please invest in a reusable bottle for this purpose. Remember, the Earth is depending on you!
~ Kim Lewis 

Carton Crew

Compliments to the Carton Crew

On November 15, America Recycles Day, students at Western Reserve Elementary School kicked off an exciting new program. They expanded the material collected at school to include milk cartons. These cartons, which are produced in large quantities during lunch, are managed by the school’s “carton crew”  and delivered to local recycling centers along with their other recyclables. Since its inception, the program has proven so successful that the school had to order additional collection containers!

 Congratulations are extended to everyone at Western Reserve for taking this green initiative. They’re a shining example of a school that is truly making a difference.

~ Kim Lewis

recycle mania

YSU Gears Up For RecycleMania

Youngstown State University will be participating for the 14th year in the national RecycleMania competition beginning February 4, 2018 - March 31, 2018. In 2017, YSU earned a first-place finish in the state of Ohio against 18 other schools and placed 21st overall in the competition.  

   RecycleMania is a friendly competition between colleges & universities across the U.S.   and  Canada.   Schools compete to see who can reduce, reuse, and recycle the most on-campus waste for coveted bragging rights  - and a handcrafted recycled/repurposed trophy for the overall winner!

   YSU finished last year’s competition with a recycling rate of 61 percent by recovering 201,126 pounds of recyclable material that was generated on campus. 

   To encourage more recycling, YSU uses RecycleMania as a way to increase awareness.  Students are acknowledged and rewarded during the eight-week campaign for properly recycling when they are caught “Green-handed” by YSU Recycling staff.  To also promote waste reduction, students are rewarded with either a practical reusable item or discount coupon to a local business that students frequent. 

Earth-Day-to- Earth Placemat Contest

    Another exciting “Earth Day to Earth Day Placemat Contest” has arrived!  Students in grades one through eight in all Mahoning County public and private schools are encouraged to enter this year’s contest.  One winner from each grade will receive a $25 gift card from Dominion.

   To enter, a student must design a poster with a theme based upon the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, or Recycle) or an anti-litter theme.  They may be made with crayon, colored pencil, or markers on 8 and 1/2” by 11” paper or 11” by 17” paper, nothing larger. These are due at the Green Team office by 4:30 pm on Friday, March 16, 2018. 

   Placemats will be made from the winning posters, and laminated copies will be given to the winning artists at an awards’ ceremony at a Mahoning County Commissioners’ meeting in May.  If you have questions, call the Green Team at 330-740-2060.

Julie Less

Meet Julie

It’s a fresh new year, and Green Twp. has a fresh new recycling coordinator. Her name is Julie Less, and since beginning her position last spring, Julie has settled in quite comfortably. Of course it is only natural that Julie would be comfortable working in Greenford. She has resided in the township for all of her life. 

   Although she is new to the profession, Julie reports  that her experience as a recycling coordinator has been very positive. She enjoys working outside and sharing her passion for the environment with the people who visit her site. She also enjoys working with children and regularly assists the Green Team with educational programs.  

   Of course, recycling isn’t Julie’s only interest. Julie especially cherishes the time she spends with her family which includes husband, Chad, and daughters Delaney, Sidney and Cassidy. In fact, it was Julie’s children who inspired her to become a recycling coordinator. She understands that their future is at stake. 

   If you would like to meet Julie, drop by the Greenford site on any Saturday between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm. It’s guaranteed  that she’ll greet you with a smile.

Eating Clean & Green in 2018

If you’ve resolved to eating  healthier this year, you’ll probably be adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. However, it is important to note that fruits and vegetables are not always grown in an Earth-friendly way. Most of the crops produced today contain harmful pesticides.

   To avoid eating food contaminated with pesticides, consumers should consider buying organic produce. This is especially important when it comes to particular crops that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) calls the “Dirty Dozen.” Compiled by using  data from the USDA, EWG found that the fruits & vegetables posted on the following list contained the highest amount of pesticide residue after cleansing. The list includes:  

  • strawberries
  • spinach
  • nectarines
  • apples
  • peaches
  • pears
  • cherries
  • grapes
  • celery
  • tomatoes
  • sweet bell peppers
  • potatoes

   Please keep this list in mind the next time you shop. You’ll be making healthier choices for you & the planet.

Guitar Pics

Gift Cards That Keep On Giving

Now that the holidays are over, you’re probably wondering what to do with all of your used gift cards. While some stores and restaurants take them back to be reloaded, many do not and the cards just end up being more plastic waste entering our landfills.

   Fortunately, the Green Team recognizes this problem and has come up with a solution. We have acquired a press that turns old gift cards into guitar picks. The picks are offered for free to local musicians and artists and the leftover plastic is sent to a card recycling facility in Solon. 

   If you would like to  donate a card to our program, DO NOT PUT IT IN ANY OF OUR BINS. Simply mail it to the Green Team c/o Kim Lewis, 345 Oak Hill Ave., Suite 330, Youngstown Ohio 44502. If you would like to receive one of our recycled picks, call us at 330-740-2060 to make arrangements.                  

Winter Deicing Tips

Excess salt and other deicing chemicals can harm aquatic life in our streams and impact drinking water supplies. This winter, you can help by following these Earth-friendly snow removal    practices:

  • Shovel snow before it turns to ice to limit the need for deicing chemicals like salt. 
  • Shovel snow onto grassy areas. This will allow water to soak into the ground rather than overtax storm drains. 

   If you must use deicing chemicals, follow these suggestions:

  • Control application of chemical deicers and avoid overapplication.
  • Use salt substitutes that are less harmful to the environment including calcium chloride and magnesium chloride.  
  • After snowmelt, sweep up residues to prevent products from washing into storm drains. 

Post Holiday Reminder

Between now and January 31, gift-wrap and greeting cards will be accepted at all Mahoning County drop-off sites and at the curb. Be sure that paper is loose or in a brown paper bag. Plastic bags are not permitted in any of the Green Team programs. Cut trees will be accepted at the locations listed below:
  • Austintown Twp. Park - 6000 Kirk Rd.
  • Berlin Twp. Bldg.- St. Rt. 224, Berlin Center
  • Campbell Roosevelt Park - Struthers Liberty Rd.
  • Canfield Twp. Fire Station - 5007 Messerly Rd.
  • Craig Beach / Milton Twp. - 1979 Grandview, next to fire station
  • Ellsworth Twp. Fire Station.- St. Rt. 45, Ellsworth
  • Goshen Twp. Maintenance Garage - 12649 Seacrist Rd, Salem
  • Green Twp. Cemetery - Intersection of St. Rt. 165 & Beaver Creek Rd.
  • Jackson Twp. Admin. Bldg., 10613 Mahoning Ave, N. Jackson
  • Lowellville Village St. Dept.- 3 W. McGaffney Rd.
  • New Middletown / Springfield  - 10720 Struthers Rd, at the recycling center
  • Poland Twp. Rd. Dept.-7508 Clingan Rd.
  • Smith Twp. Bldg.- 846 N. Johnson Rd, Sebring
  • Struthers City provides curbside pick-up
  • Youngstown - CCA Building (former South Library)  1771 Market St.

E-Waste Update

If you received a new computer, TV or other electronic device for Christmas please remember to recycle your old unit. For a complete list of local electronic recycling facilities visit our website at and refer to the recycling catalog. And remember:  Always phone ahead for specific information about  electronic and all recycling programs. 

For further information about recycling and other  solid waste management programs, visit our website at    
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