Projects and Plans
2012 Is a very important year for the District as we must complete the updating and ratification process for the Solid Waste Management Plan. As per Ohio law, every five years we have to completely rewrite the Plan and add current data so that projections for the next 15 years are accurate. This update will take the District from 2013 thru 2027. The Plan is divided into nine sections, each dealing with a specific area of solid waste management. Section IV lists data and provides summaries of all the waste reduction programs implemented in the reference year – 2009. Although the District had a 27.6% residential/commercial recycling rate in 2008, due to the recession and other factors, the rate fell to 23.03% in 2009. 2010 Was a great year for recycling with a residential/commercial rate exceeding the state-mandated 25%. Once all the data is received, I am confident that we will have reached the State Plan Goal of 25% in 2011.
The District’s Policy Committee, composed of local officials and representatives of the public, will work with me to carefully review each section of the Plan to make sure that it continues to provide recycling, composting, and other waste reduction activities while still providing funds for the repair of roads near landfills for several more years; funds to the Mahoning County Board of Health to continue inspections of active and closed landfill sites; and other non-recycling yet important purposes as permitted in Ohio law. The main concern is revenue as sufficient funds are needed for all the activities listed in section V of the Plan. Landfill disposal fees, the primary revenue source, have significantly declined in recent years. However, in 2011 the District implemented “designation agreements” with all facilities that desired to accept Mahoning County-generated solid waste in the future. The agreement requires facilities to pay the same level of disposal fees that landfills located within the District are required to pay.
The Plan must be consistent with Ohio law and guarantee access for all the solid waste generated that will need disposed, composted, or recycled. Without sufficient access to landfills, material recovery facilities (MRF), and composting sites; then the District can not demonstrate adequate access which simply means the ability to handle the generated materials. We are confident that the mandated access requirements will be met with the three landfill, two MRFs, and numerous private composting companies that are located within Mahoning County.
In order to save costs, the District completed the Draft of the Plan Update in-house which is contrary to past practice. The cost to update a Plan may reach $60,000.00 or more if done by a private company. Jennifer Jones, Youngstown Litter Control and Recycling; Dan Kuzma, YSU Recycling; Sarah Ellis, YSU re:CREATE; along with District staff including Mary Gresh, Lou Vega, and Mari Wren Petrony are completing this project with me. The draft was submitted to Ohio EPA prior to March 9, 2012 – the due date. After corrections are made, the local ratification process commences which will consume about 13.5 months. The Board of Commissioners will have final approval at the end of the ratification process along with the City of Youngstown as stated in the ORC. By January 2013, the District will have a new Plan in place to guide it thru 2027. Public input is encouraged, and there will be an announced Public Comment Period and Public Hearing later this year. For more details, please call me at 330-740-2060.