If you abuse it, you might lose it! This is the concern that is now on the village's mind following a report from Newcomerstown Councilmember Sue Simmons regarding recent issues with the village's recycling and composting options that are available to Newcomerstown residents.

Simmons said it has been brought to her attention that persons unknown are basically dumping their unwanted items such as old tires, baby strollers, baby carriers and many other items that are not recyclable into the recycle bins that are located behind Baker's IGA.

Simmons voiced her concern that the village may possibly lose the recycling option altogether if the program is abused.

"We don't want to lose the recycling program, but if people are going to misuse it," she said.

Another concern is that individuals are also placing cardboard, and paper items in boxes and leaving them around the bins when the bin is full. Simmons added that when there are high winds, the paper and cardboard is being scattered throughout nearby neighborhoods and Baker's IGA parking lot. Items should always be put inside the appropriately marked bins. If the bin is full, then items should be in secured (tied shut) bags and placed as close as possible to the appropriate bin.

Council members are requesting the community's prompt attention to this matter and requesting that anyone participating in the recycling program should be following the guidelines for recycling. Check the plastic items, if there is no triangular mark with a recycle number of 1 (clear plastic, see through) or 2 (opaque, that cannot be seen through) on it, then it is not to be placed in the plastics recycle bin, or anywhere at the site. These types of items are to be disposed of through the individual's own refuse service. Items that are being accepted at the recycle bin at the present time are the plastic containers and bottles, paper (brown or white scrap paper, newspapers, magazines, catalogs), cardboard (boxes should be broken or cut down to free up space for other recyclers), aluminum cans, and aluminum containers. A co-mingling bin (for glass containers and metal cans) had reportedly been available at one time, but this has not been positively confirmed. Anything else found in, or around the recycle bins will be considered litter. Individuals that are noted to be placing these items at the recycle site will be in violation, and fines will be issued. Council discussed plans to have the site monitored.

Council later approved a new composting bin for grass clippings, shrubbery and small tree limbs. The bin is scheduled to be delivered within this week and will be located north of the recycling site. Both sites are located behind Baker's IGA, and near the street department garage. The sites are accessible from State and College streets. The bin will be funded by the village and maintained by Steve Weisgarber of Massillon at $20 per ton. The bin is available for residents living in the village of Newcomerstown only. Landscaping businesses or any individuals residing outside the village limits are not permitted to be using the recycling or composting bins. Action will be taken towards any individuals not in compliance with the restriction.

"In the past, the dumpster was made available through the Soil Waste District and was available for village residents as well as county residents. Due to funding issues, the Solid Waste District is unable to continue making the dumpster available," Newcomerstown Mayor Steve Guy said. "Therefore, Newcomerstown is picking up the cost, but must limit the use to village residents only. If resident use only is not adhered to, the Village of Newcomerstown will be forced to discontinue this worthy program.

"As Mayor of Newcomerstown, I ask for your support and compliance with this program. I also would like to remind residents that the compost dumpster is for such thing as grass clippings, bushes, flowers, small twigs, limbs or branches. It is not for big tree limbs, etc.," he said.

Other business from the March 21 council meeting included:

* Council approved clean up week for Newcomerstown for April 25-29. Cost is $10 for large items such as appliances.

* Council also approved the 2011 LEAD Drug Task Force participation at a cost of $1,202.40.

* Winter cold patch was approved at a cost of $700 which will be taken from the street levy fund.

* Mayor Guy reports attorney Patrick DeBoer has recently completed the additional education requirements for the Mayor's Court magistrate position. Mayor's Court is scheduled to begin on April 6 and will be held the first and third of each month.

* A village auction is being planned for April 11 at 11 a.m. The village will be disposing of items they are no longer using.

* Council approved a drum of oil with a pump and oil filters for use in the village vehicles. The cost will not exceed $800.

* Council also approved $1,000 cost for the repair to a mower deck on the village's mower.

* Mosquito spray was approved at a cost of $8,532 with a 10 percent discount and a second option to purchase a second drum if necessary to be included in the discount option.

Council later entered executive session per councilmember Earl McCormick's motion to discuss personnel. No action known to be taken at this time.