The last call for trash

Pamela Crimbchin

Late-night team takes care of empty bottles

Ever wonder what a bar does with all the empty beer bottles and cans at the end of the night? You’d like to think that they are recycled to keep our planet green — sadly, that’s not always the case.

Many bars can only do what their waste removal service provider offers. But if you frequent Ray’s Place, Water Street Tavern, The Loft, The Zephyr or 157 Lounge, don’t worry — they have James Floyd.

Floyd is not a part of Solid Waste Management, which collects trash for other businesses downtown, but a local man with his own company that is hired by word of mouth, or in the case of 157 Lounge, flagging down while collecting other’s trash.

Floyd and his team collect the trash from the five bars and recycle the bottles, cans and cardboard.

Floyd inherited his trash removal service from his father and has been gathering and recycling for 40 years.

“I’ve been here almost 32 years and he was doing it before I got here, so I’ve stuck with him all this time,” said Charlie Thomas, owner of Ray’s Place.

The bars separate bottles, cans and cardboard from the trash to make it easier for Floyd and his team to collect the bags every morning.

Floyd then drives the bottles and cardboard out to the Portage County Recycling Plant on Mogadore Road.

He thinks it’s important to recycle because “the landfill will fill up if we don’t.”

Thomas said that at Ray’s Place, “on a weekly basis, bottles and cans for instance, we probably go through two or three thousand.”

Gathering this many recycling products to take to a plant would be no big deal for any large company, but Floyd and his team travel in one white van with red and blue stripes on the side.

After busier nights like Halloween, it can take Floyd and his team multiple trips to collect all of the trash and recycling.

“We got to bust ass and do twice the job,” Floyd said. “It can’t stay down there, so one way or another we’ve got to get it out. That’s part of the job.”

Thompson, along with Brian Perek, owner of 157 Lounge, and Mike Beder, owner of Water Street Tavern, are all pleased with Floyd and his team’s work.

“He does a really great job,” Perek said. “The trash is gone every day.”

So, if you happen to be downtown one morning and catch a glimpse of Floyd and his team in their van, tell him thanks.

Thank you Floyd for recycling our bottles from our night of bad decisions and good times so they can go on to become something better in this world than just trash.

Contact assistant features editor Pamela Crimbchin at [email protected].