ON THE RECORD: Montcalm County cracking down on recycling site abuse

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:54 am on Monday, April 25, 2016

One man has been convicted and fined after dumping garbage at a Montcalm County recycling site, putting a face to a countywide problem.

Ace Moore

Ace Moore, 34, of Greenville, was fined $359 for littering after being caught dumping garbage, a suitcase and boxes of toys and miscellaneous junk at the Montcalm Township recycling site last summer. He was apprehended after Montcalm Township Supervisor Michael Adams saw Moore and his wife, Jessica, placing the items in the dumpsters. Adams confronted the Moores, who left the scene. Adams located their vehicle down the road and reported their information to police, who conducted an investigation.

Jessica Moore is also charged with littering and has a warrant out for her arrest after failing to appear for a court hearing.

Montcalm County offers seven recycling sites, each with signs clearly stating what is and is not acceptable for recycling. Montcalm County Solid Waste Committee members have been discussing placing details on these signs warning of prosecuting future offenders.

Littering is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. Montcalm Township officials placed a security camera at their site last summer to help combat abuse of the free recycling service.

Montcalm County has 24/7 recycling sites at the following locations:

Carson City: Department of Public Works, 818 N. Williams St.

• Crystal Township: Crystal Community Center, 206 S. Main St.

• Edmore: Southwest corner of former Hitachi property on Quicksilver Lane off Neff Road.

• Howard City: Northeast corner of Leppink’s parking lot, 730 W. Shaw St.

• Lakeview: Southwest corner of village parking lot at the intersection of 2nd and Washington streets.

• Montcalm Township: Northeast corner of township hall parking lot, 1998 S. Greenville Road (M-91).

• Stanton: Southwest corner of city parking lot at the intersection of Walnut and Camburn streets.

The recycling program is overseen by county officials, site hosts and the Mid-Michigan District Health Department.

According to health department Environmental Health Division Director Bob Gouin, the Howard City recycling site is the county’s most active location. Last year, users at the Howard City site recycled an average of 2,410 pounds of items per week, or 10,363 pounds of items per month.

As a whole, the county’s seven recycling sites are steadily setting new records for collecting items since the program started several years ago.

The sites collected 1,187,620 pounds of material in 2013, 1,225,140 pounds in 2014 and 1,239,270 pounds last year.

Recycled items from Montcalm County are taken to the Kent County Recycling and Education Center in Grand Rapids, where the items are sorted, bailed and shipped to other users.

“Due to the frequent use of the recycling sites across the county, all of the sites experience abuse or untidiness from time to time,” Gouin said. “Examples include recycling the wrong materials or abandoning items at the sites, such as TVs or bagged garbage. Collaborating to keep the sites in a tidy and accessible condition is the goal.”

The health department offers e-waste recycling in conjunction with Comprenew, a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit electronics recycling service, on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Stanton by appointment only. Acceptable items include cell phones, computers, microwaves, radios, TVs, VCRs and almost anything with a cord or battery.

To make an e-waste appointment or for more information, call the health department at (989) 831-7504.

Visit montcalm.org for more details about the county’s recycling sites and rules.

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