Recycling pickups coming to Ferry

MARTINS FERRY – An experiment in curbside recycling is coming to the first ward of the city, thanks to an initiative from JB Green Team.

Martins Ferry will be the first community to attempt the initiative in Belmont County.

JB Green Team will purchase 400 recyclable 65-gallon containers. The test will begin at the First Ward, covering the entire Crawford Heights section of town. The first containers will be placed at the south end of Aetna Street. Personal letters will be sent out to household residents asking for their participation.

“The letters need to be signed and returned to the city,” Mayor Paul Riethmiller said, adding that if not enough households participate the city will continue to offer the service to further blocks toward Washington Street until the number is reached. “We want a total of 400 people to use those containers. The project could go all the way to the end of the First Ward.”

“This program is 100 percent sponsored and financially backed by the JB Green Team Board. The JB Green Team will be purchasing all of these containers. The JB Green Team will be supplying the truck that picks the items up, they will be supplying the fuel and paying the employees. There is no cost of the program to the City of Martins Ferry or the individual residents that are part of the program.”

The project should begin mid-September to early October.

“We’re going to do this for one year in that test market area in Martins Ferry, and if it is successful, they we’re going to implement it city-wide,” Riethmiller said, adding that JB Green Team will buy the additional containers.

However, if the test period results in a loss of money, the project will be halted. Riethmiller added that the goal is to make enough to pay for the initiative.

Currently, recycling dumpsters are located near the city garage. Residents who wish to be part of the program are asked to continue to use the dumpsters at the city garage.

Riethmiller said he volunteered Martins Ferry for this program because he saw the advantages in the plan.

“I want our city to go green. I want our city to recycle,” he said.

In addition, he noted frequent complaints from residents that the maximum amount of trash that can be set out is three cans with lids. People are charged for more containers and bags.

“This is an opportunity for our residents that have large families,” he said. “And have a hard time getting all their trash in three containers.”

He said JB Green Team released an estimate that 50 percent of daily trash is recyclable material. In addition, this means less the city must take to the landfill and pay to have it removed.

“It’s a savings for everybody,” he said.

With the convenience and savings also comes the requirement that participating residents sort and prepare their recyclable trash before throwing it out.

Detailed information will be passed out to the city residents regarding what materials will be accepted. Glass is one item that will not be accepted, although a dumpster for glass will be established in the first ward.

Also, there can be no food items or other garbage in the recycling bins. A violation of the policy will result in the container not being collected.

“It has to be separated. It has to be recyclables,” Riethmiller said.

The recyclables containers will be set at the same place as regular trash bins.

“The only difference being is it will be two different trucks. The city garbage truck will still get city garbage and the recycling ones will be picked up by a JB Green Team truck.” he said. “It will be done weekly.”

A pickup day has not been set, but Riethmiller said the city will attempt to schedule it close to the normal garbage day of Monday so all containers may be put out at the same day.

DeFrank can be reached at