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Montgomery County Aims To Recycle Tornado Debris

Montgomery County says most yard waste and untreated scrap wood can be turned into mulch.
Karen Bledsoe
Montgomery County says most yard waste and untreated scrap wood can be turned into mulch.

Cleanup continues in many neighborhoods hard hit by a series of tornadoes on Memorial Day.  Montgomery County officials are striving to recycle as much of the debris as possible rather than send it directly to landfills.

Most yard waste and untreated scrap wood can be turned into mulch when brought to the Montgomery County Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Facility in Moraine where it is ground up on-site and delivered to local companies to sell as mulch.

The facility also accepts other materials such as paper waste, plastic and glass bottles, metal debris, electric appliances and household chemicals. Much of the recyclable material is sent to the Rumpke Recycling facility in Cincinnati to be processed.

John Minear, Outreach Manager at Montgomery County Environmental Services, says that although it is difficult to estimate the exact percentage of overall debris that is able to be recycled, the majority of the wood and brush debris can be rescued and repurposed.

“I would say probably anywhere between eighty to ninety percent of the vegetative debris that happened because of the storm is gonna get recovered and reused and recycled,” says Minear.

However, Minear says that treated wood often used in building cannot be turned into mulch. This can be taken to construction and demolition debris sites.

“Those sites are typically less expensive than the landfills because the material is relatively inert,” says Minear. “You don’t have all the high-regulatory issues surrounding landfills.”

Minear says that wood that is in relatively good condition can be donated to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity to be reused. It is best to call ahead before dropping off materials to make sure the donation can be handled at that time.

Minear expects major cleanup from the storm to last anywhere from two to three months due to the severity of the damage.

The Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Facility located at  1001 Encrete Lane in Moraine, Ohio has extended its hours for debris dropoff to  Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday,  8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..

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Kristin Stratman