COLUMN: Where we were and where we are

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By Curtis Ochs

When I was a kid, we did not have a large amount of waste to dispose of. The top of a tin can was saved to use when a mouse would chew a hole in the floor or baseboard of a building. The can was saved to store small items such as tacks. What was paper waste got burned. Everybody had a hollow or sinkhole to dispose of the unusable waste.
Today, we have enlarged our population, and now have many more disposable materials. Today, we cannot burn waste, nor can we create a dumpsite because of potential water pollution. However, today we are making a lot of progress in handling waste products and are increasing our ability to take a large part of our waste and recycle, renew and reuse it in a wide range of materials and products.
To review our progress, consider the following: We have not only our recycling center open 24/7 for our citizens to drop off all the items that can be recycled, but we have the traveling recycling trailer making its rounds to the area firehouses. We will have the Rumpke spring curbside junk pickup this week with normal garbage pickup.
Your normal garbage day was not around 40 years ago. We now have a good working relationship with Rumpke who provides us with a voluntary service for any citizen of Spencer County. They supply the carts to their customers, and collect weekly on a regular schedule.
Beyond the normal garbage, we have a contract with Creative Recycling Systems to take all our electric scrap from cell phones to old TV sets, any and all computer parts and pieces.
Old cardboard, newspapers, etc. (if clean) can be dropped off at the recycling center. Most plastic items are candidates for recycling. Old oil in proper containers, old paint, if thickened with dirt or cat litter so it will not run, can be garbaged. All metals in whatever form are recyclable.
Last but not least, scrap tires can be a problem if thrown in the creeks and river. We are having a Spring Waste Tire Amnesty on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. It is being held at the county road barn on  Fairgrounds Road. Staff will be on site to help you.
As we grow, we tend to have more problems with loose trash and junk floating around. This makes a problem for the county. We have to spend quite a bit of money to keep the county clean and healthy. Today a dollar spent on picking up junk is a dollar lost to doing constructive work for the county. We citizens need to take advantage of the services we have in place to help keep our county clean.