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

Inside this issue

Welcome Back Jack        
 HHW Collection
Fair Winners
Celebrate Green
Holiday Shopping
Holiday Recycling
Holiday School Contest
Keep it Loose

Green Team


   I was recently aghast when one my friends, who is usually pretty “green,” walked into my office with a Styrofoam cup of coffee. Realizing her mistake, she tried to hide it, but it was too late. When I looked at her with disapproval, she said: “I can’t help if this is what the restaurant gave me,” to which I replied: “Of course you can. There are always choices.”

  As a consumer, you have certain rights. You may choose to refuse wasteful packaging and travel with your own earth-friendly containers. You may also write to companies and establishments that waste the earth’s resources and ask them to provide earth-friendly alternatives. When enough people take action, change happens.

    Please think about the power you have as a consumer and choose to refuse wasteful packaging. By doing so, you’ll  help create an environment that future generations can enjoy.
           ~ Kim Lewis
              RREAP Mgr.

Green Tips: Shop with a reusable tote, Use a refillable bottle, Pack a zero-waste lunch, Avoid excess packaging, Compost food waste

Signs, Signs Everywhere Signs...

Some of you may remember this song from the 1970’s, but today this column is actually addressing political signs. As election season draws to a close, please remember to recycle your yard signs at the Oak Hill Renaissance Center located at 345 Oak Hill Ave. in Youngstown. Signs should be delivered to the rear parking lot and placed next to the yellow drop-off bins.

  The Green Team appreciates your support for this special collection and all recycling and source reduction programs. Together, we are making the world a better place.



Welcome Back Jack!

If you’ve noticed more pumpkins than usual growing in the Mahoning Valley, please be advised that this is no accident. Each year during October, Green Team educators visit Mahoning County schools with an exciting presentation about backyard composting that includes an interactive story, colorful costumes, and - you guessed it - pumpkins! The story, titled Pumpkin Jack is a heart-warming tale about a boy named Tim who creates a friendly jack-o-lantern affectionately named “Jack.” After Halloween passes and Jack begins to rot, instead of throwing Jack in the trash, Tim places him in the garden and waits for the magic to begin. Throughout the seasons, Tim experiences the wonder of nature’s recycling by observing Jack’s transformation from jack-o-lantern to seed to pumpkin again. After Tim harvests his new pumpkin, he carves a face and welcomes back his old friend.

  After reading Pumpkin Jack students each receive a mini pumpkin to decorate and take home and are instructed to allow nature to recycle their old pumpkins into  new pumpkins for next Halloween. In 2017, the education department distributed
2,200 pumpkins and 2018 promises to be just as big. By all calculations, the valley should soon be swimming in a sea of orange.

  If you’re one of the parents whose child brings home a mini-pumpkin from the Green Team, please support this environmental lesson by following through with the pumpkin activity. Remember: You’re children are counting on you.  

Springfield elem

Left: Mrs. Lewis poses with a group of students at Springfield Elem. School.

Right: Mrs. Flynn poses with students at C.H. Campbell Elem. School.

CH campbell elm

Fall Household Hazardous Waste Collection

The Green Team is once again providing an opportunity for collecting household hazardous material. On Saturday, Oct., 6.The Household Hazardous Waste Collection will be held at the Canfield Fairgrounds from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. The collection hours listed below are designated by last name:
A-F 9:00 am-11:00 pm     G-N 11:00 am-1:00 pm          O-Z 1:00 pm-3:00 pm
The following HOUSEHOLD items will be accepted:
Thinners, Automotive Fluids, Pool & Photo Chemicals, Bleach, Antifreeze, Used Motor Oil, Solvents, Poisons, Aerosol Cans, Propane Cylinders, Acids, Stains, Lighter Fluid, Adhesive/Glue, Mercury, Greases, Roof Coatings, Car Batteries, Household Cleaners, Pesticides, Varnish, Gasoline, Oil Based Paint, Herbicides, Caulks, Cylinder Fluorescent Lights

Latex paint will not be accepted. Dispose of Latex paint by hardening with sand or kitty litter and placing with regular household waste.  For additional information regarding this special collection, contact the Green Team.

sky lanterns

America Recycles Day

America Recycles Day (ARD) is  observed on November 15 and is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products.

  When material is recycled it becomes new again. Plastic bottles can become carpet or playground equipment.   Glass bottles and jars may be recycled into new containers or glassphalt.

  On America Recycles Day, take the pledge.     Learn - find out which materials are collected for recycling in your community. Act -reduce personal waste by recycling. 

Share - in the next month, encourage one family member or one friend to begin recycling at home or at work.

  For more information about this subject, visit

Attention Fall Planters

Nursery pots & flats can be recycled at 
Rivers Bend Farm in Alliance or at any Lowe’s or Home Depot. The pots will be sterilized for re-use.


Congratulations are extended to 3 lucky winners who stopped by our Canfield Fair booth and played: “Recycle & Win.” Valley residents Carly Loper, Parker Winger, & Anthony Sharp each won $100.00 Visa gift cards after their names were selected from over 500 entries as part of this educational activity. I think that the winners & everyone can agree that this is really something to crow about!

Celebrate Green

There is no better time than the holidays to host a zero-waste party. In fact, considering the amount of overconsumption that occurs between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is the perfect time for this type of event. 

  You should begin planning your party one month in advance to give yourself ample time for preparations. Once you have chosen a date, send out electronic invitations  or post invites on social media. After you have received a head count, buy only the amount of food that you’ll need for the evening.  When possible, select locally sourced  options and foods that are in season.  Once you have determined your food menu, consider drinks. Purchase beverages in Earth-friendly, recyclable containers and always remember to forgo the bottled water. Instead, opt for a carafe of fruit-infused water that will taste as delicious as it looks. Of course you’ll want to serve that water in something special. The holidays are an ideal time to get out the crystal goblets along with your decorative china, cloth napkins, and festive table cloth. 

  At the end of the evening, ask your spouse or a friend to assist you with the clean-up. Ensuring that everything is in it’s proper place will give you  peace of mind and a  feeling of deep satisfaction in knowing that you have done something kind for the Earth.

Green Holiday Shopping Tips

To make your holidays less stressful and more eco-friendly, consider these “green” shopping tips.
  • Start Early: Complete your shopping before the holiday rush. This will allow you more time to spend with family and friends.
  • Shop With A Reusable tote bag: Preventing plastic  bags from entering the environment. This gesture will conserve natural resources and prevent pollution.
  • Give the Gift of Experience: Purchase a gift pass for a local museum, zoo, or nature center. These activities will create memories that last a lifetime. 
  • Buy Presents that Support Conservation: Consider a wildlife adoption  package, native seeds with gardening tools,  or a backyard bird feeder with seed and a field guide.  

Design-an-Ornament Contest

Are your students creative?  Do they like to create something from reused material?  Then you are ready for your students to enter the “Design- an- Ornament Contest.”  From now until November 17, 2017, students in grades K through twelve can make ornaments from any reused material that they can find.  Send them to the Green Team office.  The Green Team will decorate a Christmas tree at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Mill Creek Park with various “reused” ornaments that the students send to the Green Team.  Other trees may be decorated as well, depending upon how many ornaments we receive.  The contest part of designing an ornament is to see which classroom gets a bird feeder made from recycled material.  Every classroom that enters will have its name put into a jar.  After November 16th , the Green Team will pick a name from the jar to receive the bird feeder.  Be creative and enjoy making the ornaments while teaching your students about “Reuse!”
                  ~ Peg Flynn

xmas tree

Holiday Recycling Drives

Each year during the holiday season, an extra 5 million tons of waste is generated --- 25% more than usual! To address this issue, the Green Team is sponsoring two special recycling drives.

   Wrap It Up Again! is the wrapping paper and greeting card drive scheduled for December 26 through January 15 at our recycling drop-off sites. Remember to remove all ribbons and bows and to exclude foil wraps.

   The Christmas Tree Recycling Drive will be held December 26 through January 31 at designated recycling drop-off sites. Trees will be  donated to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for use as wildlife habitat. 

   Last year Mahoning County diverted nearly 5,000 pounds of wrapping paper and greeting cards along with 83,850 pounds of Christmas trees from the waste stream. Let’s make this year an even bigger success. Remember---every little bit counts.

Keep it Loose

Remember to empty recyclables into containers loose. Plastic bags clog machinery at sorting facilities and have become a problem in the waste stream. Following the 3 R’s will help you manage plastic bags. 

Avoid the need  for plastic bags by always shopping with a reusable tote. Plastic bags often end up as litter and cause significant damage to wildlife and the environment. Reducing the number of plastic bags in circulation can help alleviate these problems.

Empty recyclables into bins loose and save your plastic bags for re-use.
Contact local food banks and thrift stores to see if they accept plastic shopping bags for re-use.

The following Mahoning County retail stores offer recycling receptacles for clean, dry plastic shopping bags:

All Giant Eagle Stores
J.C. Penney Store, Mahoning Ave., Austintown
Lowe’s in Boardman and Youngstown
Wal*Mart Super Center, Goldie Rd., Youngstown
Wal*Mart Super Center, Mahoning Ave., Austintown

Be an angel...

and recycle your old towels and blankets. Angels for Animals is in need of used bath towels and small blankets for their animal charity. If you would like to donate these items please drop them off at the shelter located at 4750 State Rt. 165 in Canfield.

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