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

Inside this issue

YSU News
Placemat Contest
Recycle to Save Lives
Eating Clean & Green
Backyard Magic
Gift Card Program
Winter Deicing Tips
Christmas Tree Recycling
E-Waste  News

Green Team

Be The Change

In 2019, be the change you want to see in the world. Become informed about environmental issues and take steps to improve your surroundings. For example, when you see litter marring the scenery, stop and pick it up. If you see litter regularly in a specific place, consider joining a group that participates in the Green Team’s Adopt-A-Spot Program. We’re always happy to support clean-up efforts by providing the necessary tools and service required for the project.

Of course, to reduce litter at its source, reduce overall consumption of material goods; especially single-use plastic. Single-use plastic has become such an environmental nightmare that many regions around the world are passing laws to remove these products from businesses or at least curb their availability. If you live in a community that is implementing these changes, count your blessings. If not, please take it upon yourself to do the right thing and eliminate single-use plastics from your life. 

It’s fitting to note that the health of our environment has a direct impact on our personal health. This is another area where positive changes can be made. For example, do you know where your food comes from and are you satisfied with the source?  Have you read the research on sustainable farming practices and explored the idea of purchasing organic products? Are you up-to-date on Monterey Bay's Earth-friendly seafood list?  There is a wealth of information on the internet that deals with these topics.  It’s all at your fingertips.

I hope that in 2019, you’ll be the change you want to see in the world. By doing so, you’ll make a world of  difference.

                    ~ Kim Lewis

Know Before You Throw

It’s wonderful that many people participate in Green Team recycling programs,  but it’s important that everyone knows how to recycle correctly.  Putting the wrong material in the bins creates problems for material handlers and causes program costs to skyrocket. So...know before you throw. Materials permitted in recycling bins are:
  • Commingled fibers
  • Food & beverage cans
  • Cartons
  • Plastic containers
  • Glass bottles & jars
Materials not permitted in recycling bins are:
  • Plastic bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic furniture / toys
  • Food residue / liquids
  • Clothes hangers
  • Anything that tangles
For more information about this topic, please call us at 330-740-2060.     
recycle mania logo

YSU Gears Up For RecycleMania

Youngstown State University will be participating for the 14th year in the national RecycleMania competition beginning February 3, 2019 - March 30, 2019. In 2018, YSU earned a first-place finish in the state of Ohio against 10 other schools and placed 13th 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 62% by recovering 214,824 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. 

Environmental Quote

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 
        ~ Margaret Meade

Earth-Day-to-Earth-Day 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 15, 2019. 

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.

                        ~ Peg Flynn

recycle logo

Recycle to Save Lives

More than ever, local animal shelters need your help to save the lives of countless dogs and cats. By donating reusable items to a shelter , you can help animals stay warm and dry while they wait for their forever homes. Gently-used items accepted at most shelters include bath towels, small blankets, throw rugs, and wash cloths. Other shelter wish lists include newspaper (minus glossy inserts) and empty feed bags, 20 lbs. or larger. In addition to collecting reused material, some shelters collect aluminum cans and ink jet cartridges for recycling. All funds generated by recycling activities  are used to support animals in need.

The following list contains shelters located in the Mahoning Valley. It is advised that you call ahead for program specifics.

  • Angels for Animals
  • Falcon Animal Rescue
  • Friends of Fido
  • Legacy Dog Rescue
  • MC Dog Pound
  • New Lease on Life
  • TNR of Warren
  • West Side Cats
  • Youngstown Dogs Surviving the Streets

USDA Organic Logo

 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 picks
The Green Team transforms used gift cards into guitar picks for local artists.

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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