Waste Matters             February 2016
OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital Launches Recycling Program

After a year in the works, the Zero Waste Program is excited to announce that OhioHealth O'Bleness' Recycling program is fully operational with new bins and signs making recycling easy and accessible for visitors and staff.
The final change over to a recycling system took place during the last week of January and the first week of February. The hospital's newly established team of "Green Champions", COMCorps AmeriCorps Members, and Rural Action staff and AmeriCorps members placed over 70 recycling hubs and 160 office recycling bins in O'Bleness Hospital, the Cornwell Center and the Castrop Center.
The Zero Waste Pledge Program has explored new territory by working in the large hospital where there are a variety of office and visitor spaces, but they were excited about the challenge. OhioHealth has chosen to include recycling in their strategy to achieve a healthier region, noting the connection between environmental and public health. Many O'Bleness employees were supportive of the new recycling efforts and interested in getting involved in the process.
"In order to place all of the recycling bins throughout O'Bleness Hospital, I needed the help of many hands. Volunteers were recruited from the hospital employees as well as fellow AmeriCorps members. It was so great to see the program succeed with the spirit of volunteerism." - Caitlin Garrity, Rural Action Zero Waste AmeriCorps Member

Athens City Council Woman Focuses on Waste Reduction
"The abundance of plastic bags," Jennifer Cochran points out, "is a fairly new phenomenon." She is talking about the flimsy, single-use grocery bags we see at supermarkets, retail stores, and littering our streets, storm drains, and landscape. But it doesn't have to be like this, and Cochran is taking action to reduce plastic bag waste.
This year she is beginning her third year and second term as a member of the Athens City Council and plans to introduce an ordinance in the spring to discourage single-use bags. It is an issue that many of her constituents have expressed interest in and Cochran is aware that many community members are already doing their part. She's impressed with the "Take a Bag- Leave a Bag" program at The Farmacy, and encouraged by community members who bring their own reusable bags when they are out shopping.
Throughout this process Rural Action and The Athens City Environment and Sustainability Commission have been co-hosting meetings drawing in large and small retailers as well as interested citizens to discuss plastic bag waste and come up with creative ways to encourage the use of reusable bags.
Building off of the work of the plastic bag committee, Rural Action plans to launch a Zero Waste Action Plan Waste Reduction Working Group. The groundwork for this group was built at the 2015 Zero Waste Celebration where Cochran facilitated a conversation about increasing waste reduction in Athens-Hocking Counties. The group is open to all interested community members. For more information contact Zero Waste Program Manager, Andrea Reany.
Billboards Ask Residents to Report Illegal Dumpsites
The Illegal Dumping and Burning working group of the Athens-Hocking Zero Waste Action Plan has been spreading the word that Sheriffs' Offices' phone numbers can be used to report illegal dumpsites. To this end, the working group has designed and placed billboards in Hocking and Athens counties. The Hocking County billboard is located on St. Rt. 664 North and the Athens County billboard is located on Rt. 33. They went up in December and both Sheriffs' Offices hope to see an increase in community participation in reporting illegal dumpsites.
The working group encourages individuals to properly dispose of waste and luckily there are several safe and cheap alternatives to illegal dumping. Twice a year The Athens-Hocking Solid Waste district holds recycling days for hard-to-dispose-of materials including mattresses, large appliances and TVs. See the event calendar below for more information. For disposal of everyday household waste the Athens-Hocking Recycling center accepts 30lb bags of trash at $2.00 a piece at their Sand Ridge location as long as recyclables are sorted out and recycled at the same time.

If you see an illegal dumpsite in your community, please report it!

Athens: (740) 593-6633
Hocking:  (740) 385-2131

And for more information about safe disposal of waste, contact the Zero Waste Program
Zero Waste Pledge Program Signs On New Members

We are pleased to announce two local organizations that have taken the Zero Waste Pledge and are committed to reducing waste for a healthy environment, a healthy economy, and healthy lives.  If your business is interested in joining please contact Caitlin Garrity at caitlin@ruralaction.org or call her (740) 677-4047 ext. 28.
OhioHealth O'Bleness
has pledged to:
  • Implement a battery recycling program.
  • Implement recycling systems throughout the hospital and in offices.
  • Conduct trainings with environmental services staff, kitchen staff, and managers of all departments.
  • Establish a team of Champions to serve as recycling liaisons to the rest of O'Bleness staff.
  • Eliminate the use of Styrofoam in the cafeteria.
Jaclyn Collins, American Family Insurance
has pledged to:
  • Transition to using bulk coffee creamers, phase out K-cups, use rags and natural spray.
  • Get recycling bins for office and for curbside recycling.
  • Educate staff and get signs for recycling bins.
Director on Leave

While Program Director Erin Sykes is on maternity leave please note that Andrea Reany, Program Manager, will be the point of contact for the Zero Waste team. 

Andrea Reany: 
(740) 677-4047 ext 15. andrea@ruralaction.org
Rural Action Zero Waste Program Staff
Kuhre Center for Rural Renewal
9030 Hocking Hills Drive
The Plains, OH 45780
Erin Sykes  / Program Director
Andrea Reany / Program Manager
Heather Fuston / AmeriCorps
Shannon Pratt-Harrington / AmeriCorps
Caitlin Garrity / AmeriCorps
Luke Black / Media and Volunteer  Involvement, ZW Event Productions
Tyler Bonner / Sales and Outreach Coordinator, ZW Event Productions

Upcoming Events
See More Events Here
March 17
Partner Event
Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful Meeting @ Wayne National Forest Headquarters,  10am-12
Athens. OH
April 9
Partner Event
Free Scrap Tire Drop-Off Event @ Wayne National Forest Headquarters
Athens, OH
April 16
Partner Event
Free Scrap Tire collection Event @ Green Township Garage
Hocking, OH
April 16
Partner Event
Free Scrap Tire Drop-Off Event @ Lodi Township Garage
Athens, OH
April 17
Partner Event
Athens Beautification Day @ College Green, Ohio Univeristy
Athens, OH
   More Info
April 23
Partner Event
Free Scrap Tire collection Event @ Good Hope Township Garage
Hocking, OH
April 30
Partner Event
Free Scrap collection Event @ Washington Township Garage
Hocking, OH
May 21
Partner Event
Athens County Recycling Day@ Athens County Public Recycling Drop-off site
Athens, OH
May 21
Partner Event
Hocking County Recycling Day @ Hocking County Public Recycling Drop-off site
Hocking, OH
April 29-May 2
Partner Event
OU Move Out @ Ohio University
Athens, OH
Zero Waste Program Sponsors

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