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Ohio: EPA & SWAC Challenge Residents, Businesses and Communities to Recycle

March 8, 2010

New State Solid Waste Management Plan Encourages Additional Recycling and Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Ohio EPA has finalized a new state solid waste management plan that establishes reduction and recycling goals for Ohio and its 52 solid waste management districts.

“I challenge all of Ohio’s residents, communities and businesses to increase recycling efforts so our state can become a leader in practices that reduce our reliance on landfills when managing solid waste,” asserts Ohio EPA Director Chris Korleski.

The plan, developed by Ohio EPA and the state Solid Waste Management Advisory Council (SWAC), includes strategies for solid waste management intended to increase Ohio’s waste reduction and recycling efforts.  The plan is focused on improving the effectiveness of community recycling and outreach programs.

The state also will support the development and facilitate the implementation of technology that uses waste to produce energy. To fulfill this strategy, Ohio EPA will investigate developing streamlined rules to permit and operate waste-to-energy facilities.  Ohio EPA will work to monitor and evaluate the impacts of landfills in Ohio on greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane.  Ohio EPA will continue to explore ways to reduce landfill gas emissions and increase the recovery of landfill gas for energy.

Other major plan changes include:

  • requiring each solid waste management district to  become more effective at changing recycling behavior, by preparing and implementing an outreach and marketing plan targeting five audiences;
  • requiring all solid waste management districts to provide four primary programs including a Web site to inform the public about available recycling; an inventory of recycling options; a comprehensive resource guide that lists all recycling opportunities in the district by material; and a speaker/presenter;
  • a new goal for solid waste management districts to measure the effects of recycling and reduction programs on greenhouse gas emissions;
  • new methods to calculate the population having access to drop-off recycling including a tonnage model and a survey model;
  • encouraging solid waste management districts to implement the most highly effective waste reduction programs by allowing flexibility in demonstrating how they achieve program goals; and
  • recommending a number of siting criteria revisions for solid waste facilities, including the addition of a setback for stream channels, and a buffer zone that prohibits solid waste facilities from being located within defined distances of utility corridors, public roads, railroad rights-of-way and stream culverts.

In 2007, Ohio achieved a statewide reduction and recycling rate of almost 41 percent.  The state achieved its highest reduction and recycling rate in 2002 at almost 45 percent.  The 2009 plan sets a statewide recycling goal of 50 percent.

SWAC consists of representatives of the public, solid waste industry, local governments and other affected parties.  They reviewed the plan and made recommendations concerning needs in their areas of expertise.  A public comment period was held, including five public hearings throughout the state, allowing interested people to submit comments.

For a list of SWAC committee members, click here.

The new plan is available by contacting the Division of Solid and Infectious Waste Management at (614) 644-2621.

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