Could Medina County pull the plug on its 20-year-old Central Processing Facility for trash and recyclables?
That is one option open to discussion as county officials re-evaluate what Medina County is doing to get rid of trash and what it might do to boost recycling.
No one is suggesting that the 73,000-square-foot plant off Lake Road in Westfield Township be scrapped, but all options are being considered, said Chris Easton, the Wadsworth service director who heads a county advisory committee.
The county’s Solid Waste District has hired consulting firm G.T. Environmental to analyze the operating options available to Medina County that would comply with mandates from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
The 69-page report is available at www.recyclemedinacounty.com. Look under News and Updates.
It looks at waste-handling options and outlines related costs.
It is the county’s first re-examination of its solid waste plan in 20 years, and public input is being sought.
A public meeting on waste-recycling options is scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday at Medina City Hall, 132 N. Elmwood Ave.
The county review is taking place at a time when the Ohio EPA is considering updating rules and the county is updating its long-term waste plan. The last debt payment on the plant is scheduled in January and the county’s current operations contract expires in early 2015.
The report by G.T. Environmental shows that Medina County’s operation varies significantly from other Ohio solid waste districts, although it fully meets state requirements.
Medina County residents put all their trash and recyclables together. They are taken to the Central Processing Facility, where recyclables and organic wastes are pulled from the trash.
The plant, built in 1993, handles 120,000 to 150,000 tons a year. It is operated by Cleveland-based Envision Waste. Yard waste is also composted at the plant.
The costs for residential and commercial are “on par” with other solid waste districts, the report says. The industrial sector may be paying more per ton to dispose of the solid waste it generates that is typically not processed by Medina County, the report says.
According to that report, Medina County’s plant diverts 17 percent of the waste stream, of which only 6 percent is recycled.
That recycle rate is far less than other counties that recycle as much as 17 percent of residential-commercial trash. But Medina County diverts that additional 11 percent into fuel and compost, something other counties don’t do, the report says.
That raises questions on how Medina County might boost residential-commercial recycling, Easton said.
“Can we improve recycling and keep the [Central Processing Facility]?” he asked.
He said he expects his Technical Advisory Committee to make a recommendation to the county’s Solid Waste Management District’s Policy Committee by Dec. 31. That recommendation will then go to the county commissioners.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or email@example.com.