Bags of trash and other nonrecyclables pile up by the bins at the Russell Township Recycling Center at 14921 Chillicothe Road. Township trustees are considering security methods to prevent dumping at the center, which can take road department employees up to an hour and a half to clean every Monday.

RUSSELL — Trustees are looking to beef up security at the township recycling center after Trustee Jim Mueller last week shared photos of junk stacked up at the collection site.

A new fence could possibly stop people from dumping nonrecyclables at night, Mr. Mueller said during the June 17 meeting. “So it would have to be locked and unlocked every day, that’s the only disadvantage.”

One photo showed nonrecyclables including a large pile of furniture complete with a dirty mattress and mattress pad sitting just inside the entrance to the drop-off area.

Trustee Gary Gabram floated the idea of a fence in addition to a gate. Every Monday morning, two road department employees need to go and clean up the recycling center for about an hour and a half, he added.

Trustees suspect some culprits may not be Russell residents.

Mr. Gabram said he recently approached a man dumping nonrecyclable materials in the township container. When he stopped to say the township doesn’t accept junk, the man asked “Who are you again?” and then followed up with “Well, you’re not my trustee,” Mr. Gabram said.

Violations come with consequences, Mr. Mueller said. “As I recall, the first fine is $100, second is $250 and third is $2,500 and a little trip to the county jail.

“We have not had a problem up until the last six months, which stems from that fact that a lot of communities around here shut down their recycling centers. So now people want to come drop stuff here, and I’m not happy about it,” Mr. Mueller said.

To catch offenders, Mr. Mueller said the township can acquire a piece of software for the camera system that records license plates.

Mr. Gabram cautioned that a new gate, fence and software could get pretty expensive considering it would be taxpayers’ money.

Mr. Mueller said spending the money on enforcement is better than having two employees clean up the space every week.

Trustees plan to look into the cost of enforcement before making a final decision.

In other business, trustees approved to contract with Empire Paving of Cleveland for $469,055 for road maintenance.

Mr. Gabram said the tower located at the site of the old rusty fire station on Chillicothe Road needs to be razed because it no longer serves a purpose. Now that the siren has been removed from the tower and the building demolished, the trustees will move forward with figuring out how to tear down the tower.

Trustees also discussed whether to repair or replace the 17-year-old HVAC system at township hall. No decision was made.

Trustee Kristina Port said a resident wants to donate American flags to be placed on the township’s telephone poles, but trustees eventually nixed the idea after talking cost and labor.

The next Russell Trustees meeting is July 1 at 2:30 p.m. at the township’s fire department, 14890 Chillicothe Road.

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