NEW CREEK - As the beginning stages of a county-wide recycling plan began to evolve at the Mineral County Pride Builder's most recent meeting, two waste haulers attended on short notice to share up-front thoughts on the group's endeavor.

"If we are to be successful, we must have the cooperation and involvement of the waste haulers that serve the county," said president of the Pride Builders and County Commissioner Dr. Wayne Spiggle. "Their input was very helpful, and they pointed out that recycling in Mineral County will not happen easily, but we all agreed we must develop this initiative."

Brian Howell of Kight Sanitation of Cumberland said the reality of a working recycling plan is possible, but only with the help of other community leaders.

"They need to market the recyclables," said Howell. "They need to find places and avenues to take the product whether it be recyclables, cans or papers."

Adding that educating the public is a necessary step, the county should realize they will not make profit on a recycling program, said Howell.

To fill in the blanks and answer recycling questions from the public, a committee was formed to jumpstart the project that's already operating in neighboring counties such as Hampshire and Allegany. In addition, another group was formed to create a brochure containing details about the role of waste haulers and recycling.

For example, the disposal of white goods (refrigerators, stoves, washers) and up to four tires yearly are already built into the fee structure, according to Spiggle.

"And there are some wonderful programs sponsored by Governor Manchin's REAP initiative but not very many people know about how they can become involved in an organized way to make the community shine," he said.

Another point on the agenda discussed at the meeting was the possible passing of a county nuisance ordinance to address the growing problem of rundown properties and abandoned cars that not only affect our communities, but can also be a factor in attracting new residents.

From lowering property values to threatening the health and safety of residents to attracting vermin and posing as fire hazards, attending members agreed that something needed to be done to address this problem.

On a lesser degree, such nuisances as feral cats, barking dogs and high noise levels were deliberated.

Currently, the county has no ordinances in place to address these concerns, however, the Pride Builders said the main issue is the dilapidated properties and junk cars that affect every section of the county.

To pull this work together, Pride Builder members are developing a 10-year strategic plan to target and remedy the key points described above in the nuisance ordinance.

Public hearings will be held on the plan and public involvement will be urged by the Pride Builders.

Once the plan is adopted, county commissioners will then issue an ordinance to fulfill the expectations of the plan, said Spiggle.

"I can't over emphasize how important it is for the public to get involved with the development of the strategic plan," Spiggle said.

Before concluding the meeting, the Pride Builders announced the upcoming tire amnesty program that's scheduled for June 1-3, where residents with a West Virginia identification can dispose of up to 10 unwanted tires at the New Creek Highway Garage at no charge.

To be accepted, tires must be rimless.

Commissioners urge all residents to take advantage of this program developed by the governor because tires left outside collect stagnant water and breed disease.

Bobbie L. Carpenter can be reached at bcarpenter@times-news.com.

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