City of Oberlin creates plastic benches from
It’s not exactly the medieval
alchemist’s goal of turning led into gold, but the city
of Oberlin and the Lorain County Solid Waste Management District
have helped Oberlin downtown building owner Mike Bush turn corrugated
cardboard into recycled plastic benches.
Public works director Jeff Baumann,
who coordinates the city’s recycling program, said the Solid
Waste Management District began last year requiring cities to
develop an incentive program to encourage recycling.
The Oberlin incentive program
for 2004 encouraged commercial entities to recycle more corrugated
“We essentially set up
a tracking system,” Baumann said.
“Every time our guys emptied
the dumpsters they would estimate how full it was, 10 percent,
40 percent, whatever. Then I set up a spread-sheet to multiply
that by the size of the dumpster on a weekly basis to estimate
how much cardboard was being recycled from each business.”
The incentive program was set
up to determine which business showed the most improvement.
Cardboard recycling was calculated
each quarter for 2004, and the first quarter figures were compared
with the fourth-quarter figures for each business.
“Mike Bush’s building
with Quizno’s, the UPS Store, Curves, Yesterday’s
Ice Cream, and Nail’s to Perfection, actually acheived a
200 percent increase in their cardboard recycling.”
Baumann said. “As a result
they’ve been awarded a $500 prize, which has to be used
to buy a recycled content product. And they’re going to
use it to buy two recycled plastic benches that will go out in
Baumann said the recycling incentive
program for this year focuses on neighborhood recycling.
He said residential recycling
will be monitored on a neighborhood basis.
“Once again, we’ll
be looking for improvements in neighborhoods,” he said.
“And the neighborhood that achieves the most increase in
recycling on a percentage basis we’ll use funds from the
Solid Waste Management District to buy some kind of recycled content
amenity for a park in that neighborhood.”