It’s all about access
Unfortunately, the entrance to the museum’s recycling center is from Lord Street, which, according to Sherretts, raises snow removal and access concerns during the winter months.
As a result, Sherretts asked MARC to consider making space available on its grounds for the boxes. In exchange for space, the museum would continue to advertise, assist MARC maintenance staff in keeping up the area and coordinate pickups with Maven. As to why the rec authority shouldn’t just contract with Maven on their own, the company prefers to work with only one organization in a particular geographic area, Sherretts explained, and the museum is already booked as its only Meadville account.
Sherretts told the Tribune during a recent interview that the museum encountered no problems with junk being deposited in the boxes.
“In three months, I had one vacuum cleaner, which was a non-acceptable item,” he said. “That’s it. No fast food garbage. No household trash.” He also reported no breakage during drop-offs.
While the museum’s early experience was positive, authority member Dave Boughton isn’t sure that the tidiness would last. Recalling his experience at a naval facility that introduced an electronics recycling program, “at the end of a year it was a dumping site,” he said.
Boughton and Cessna were two of several authority members to question whether the program would be consistent with the facility’s mission.
“I would rather have people think of the MARC as a place for wellness — not electronics recycling,” Boughton said.
“Collecting waste is the right thing to do, but this may not be the right place,” Cessna agreed. “It does not fit with our mission.”
Verno took a more positive approach, pointing out that the program would provide a valuable opportunity to partner with the volunteer-based museum.
Speaking as one of Vernon Township’s three representatives on the authority, “This also solves a township problem,” Verno said, explaining that people don’t like paying to recycle stuff, which gives township officials cause to fear that it will end up along township roads.
In the end, authority members were left to consider their options. The discussion will continue, although a specific time and place was not specified.
Sherretts is hoping the rec authority will come to a decision in the near future. “We’d like to keep the program going, so if they’re not interested, we’ll look for other community partners,” he said.