The Dominion Post

October 10, 2003.

County Buys New Recycling Baler

Resolves To Clean Trash Behind Locks

By Charles C. Sell

The Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority decided on Thursday to spend $65,000 for an emergency purchase of a used baler for the county's recycling center.

SWA Chairman Hayward Helmick said he did an extensive telephone search of the availability and prices of new and used balers after the recycling center's current baler broke down a week ago and recyclable material began to pile up there.

County maintenance supervisor Bob Doyle said there is enough material accumulated at the recycling center to keep its employees working three shifts per day for three weeks.

The SWA bought the baler from Ohio Baler Company of Cleveland.

Helmick said Ohio Baler's $65,000 bid was $5,000 less than the next-lowest bid he obtained for used equipment. The SWA lacks sufficient funds to purchase any of the new balers he priced.

Ohio Baler's president, Mike McChrystal, attended the meeting. He said the baler was initially sold in 1993 for $135,000.

McChrystal said the baler is in "excellent condition" and he agreed to warrant its major component parts for 60 days and to arrange for trucking it to Morgantown next week at the SWA's expense.

McChrystal said the baler can apply wire ties to a bale of recyclable materials in 35 seconds. Doyle said the current baler cannot apply the wire ties and it takes recycling center workers 15 minutes per bale to do that work by hand.

McChrystal accompanied Helmick, Doyle and Anthony "Jambie" Giambrone, county recycling coordinator/litter control officer, to the recycling center to inspect the space the 26-foot replacement baler will occupy and discuss its installation.

If it is economically feasible, Helmick said, the SWA will have the broken-down baler repaired for use at the recycling center.

Scrap metal cleanup

Noting that today is the last day county residents can take scrap metal to a disposal point at the Morgantown Industrial Park off DuPont Road, Giambrone reported on the accomplishments of the cleanup project that began there in mid-September.

Giambrone said that through Monday, 892 vehicles laden with scrap metal had arrived at the site, and 179 tons has been shipped. He estimated that another 100 tons of scrap metal remains to be shipped.

The cleanup effort -- a joint project of the SWA, County Commission, state Department of Environmental Protection, state Division of Land Restoration and the Fairmont firm Three Rivers Iron and Metal -- will eliminate a huge quantity of scrap metal left be hind at the 10-acre site by its former occupant, Westside River Terminal Inc.

That firm was owned by Richard Titus, who forfeited $21,000 in bonds he had posted when he ceased operating his business. The SWA expects to receive gross revenue of $12,000-$15,000 from the sale of scrap metal, which Helmick said should more than cover the project's expenses.

River cleanup proposed

County Commissioner Bob Bell gave the SWA a copy of a resolution adopted by the county Development Authority that calls for Congress to authorize and fund a demonstration project for removal of trash and debris from the upper Monongahela River's banks, locks and dams.

Bell asked SWA members to join the commission in adopting the resolution, which seeks $500,000 for the project to be conducted by the Pittsburgh District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Bell said other county commissions, the city of Morgantown and other municipalities will also be approached about adopting the resolution.

The resolution notes that man-made rubbish and naturally occurring wood waste accumulates behind locks and dams and causes problems such as visual, odor and water pollution and health and safety hazards for community and industrial water intakes, swimmers, water skiers, marinas, public and private docks, recreational boaters and river commerce.