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Wadsworth may hold high card in trash management debate

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Wadsworth may hold the trump card on the future of Medina County trash.

The Solid Waste Policy Committee/MC-18 Work Group is expected to vote on the elimination of the flow control system at its 9:30 a.m. Nov. 17 meeting at the Medina County Solid Waste District, 8700 Lake Road, Westfield Township.

In order to eliminate flow control, the work group needs a vote of at least two of the three cities in the county. Brunswick has said it wants to eliminate flow control and Medina wants to retain it. It’s now up to Wadsworth to make its intention known.

“It’s coming down to Wadsworth on this one,” county Commissioner Adam Friedrick said Tuesday. “Medina has basically said it wants to keep flow control. There are a few financial reasons why keeping flow control is a smart move for the city of Medina. Brunswick has expressed moving away from it.”

County sanitary engineer Amy Lyon-Galvin said not only is a majority of the cities needed, but one township representative on the MC-18 Work Group also must vote to eliminate flow control along with a majority of the seven-member Solid Waste Committee.

“The way the MC-18 Work Group is structured, if two of the three cities say no, we’ll keep the current plan,” Lyon-Galvin said.

If they vote to keep flow control, then they’ll continue with the current Solid Waste Plan until 2019. There would be no rewrite needed.

If it’s eliminated, flow control will be maintained for 18 to 24 months for the district to rewrite the plan. It would conduct public hearings and need to receive ratification from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Under flow control, trash collected in Medina County is taken to the Central Processing Facility on Lake Road in Westfield Township.

Kimble Cos. has a contract with the county to operate the CPF as a transfer station and to haul trash to its landfill in Dove.

Eliminating flow control would create an open and free market for haulers to transport trash to landfills themselves.

If flow control is eliminated, Lyon-Galvin said township customers likely would benefit with reduced prices for trash collection.

She said Brunswick has a contract, which it recently extended, with Republic Services to collect its trash.

“It has an outlet for its waste and recycling,” Lyon-Galvin said.

Both Wadsworth and Medina have their own workforces that collect residential trash. Wadsworth, though, has its own transfer station. Under a free market, it could shop around for the best drop-off site.

Medina has no transfer station and must take its trash to the former Central Processing Facility on Lake Road.

“We are convenient (for Medina),” Lyon-Galvin said. “We’re only eight miles down the road. A free market might not be as beneficial to Medina as it would be for Brunswick and Wadsworth.”

Also Tuesday, Lyon-Galvin received commissioners’ approval to advertise for bids for two contracts:

  • The first would cover the 137 single-stream recycling bins that are in 60 locations around Medina County. The contract with Kimble to service the bins expires in 2018.
  • The second would cover trash transfer, transport and disposal. The contract with Kimble expires in January. Lyon-Galvin said she will recommend a two-year contract with three one-year extensions.

“(That) will carry us through the plan rewrite, if the vote is to eliminate flow control,” Lyon-Galvin said.

Friedrick said if the Solid Waste Committee/MC-18 Work Group votes to keep flow control, the second contract is necessary in order to have a viable mixed-waste solution at the CPF.

“This contract is necessary in order to pursue that,” he said.

Between 130,000 and 140,000 tons of rubbish is collected per year at the CPF. If flow control is eliminated, Lyon-Galvin said that number is projected to drop to about 50,000 tons.

“Tonnage would be reduced (if they eliminate flow control),” she said. “There would be freedom for everyone to work out their own deal. There is not always easy access to landfills. Those without access will still use the CPF.”

Lyon-Galvin said her opinion on which way the Solid Waste Committee/MC-18 Work Group will vote doesn’t really matter.

“My position is providing information so that they can make an informed decision,” she said.

“The district will function either way. Our objectives are to meet the needs of the community.”

Lyon-Galvin said she’s heard complaints from many customers that they are paying the same rate today as they did before the CPF stopped sorting recyclables from trash in 2014.

“They have not seen a reduction in their bills and they have to separate their recycling themselves and put them in a bin,” she said.

County Commissioner Pat Geissman said it would be wise to keep flow control.

“I sure don’t want to lose flow control,” she said. “If we do, we’ll never get it back.”

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.



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