XENIA — The Greene County Solid Waste Management District Policy Committee is still accepting public comments regarding its amended plan.
The draft plan includes a solid waste facility inventory, projections and strategies, facilities and activities or programs to be used, an analysis of progress made toward achieving the state’s recycling goal, cost to finance the district, and district rules.
The committee and the draft plan took center stage in the spring when it announced it would close the Xenia yard waste site along with sites in Bath Township and Sugarcreek Township and shift recycling to a pair of private facilities in an effort to save thousands of dollars. Only Beavercreek Township’s site would have remained open. That set off a firestorm of criticism from citizens who utilize the site.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency also got involved, saying that closing the Xenia site would violate the plan currently in place since there was no provision for closing the sites.
The EPA eventually agreed to allow the Sugarcreek Township and Bath Township sites to close but insisted on the Xenia site staying open while the two entities work toward an updated plan. Beavercreek’s drop-off site was to remain open regardless.
During it’s April meeting, committee member and county commissioner Tom Koogler suggested that the committee try and find a way to continue to utilize the Xenia site, which accounted for at least 13,900 tons of the county’s yard waste collection in 2013. The county would still utilize BioSource and Eco-Green as additional drop-off sites.
“There were a lot of people that thought the Xenia site was important to them,” Koogler said at the time. “I still think they’re going to find the other site to be just as good. Just trying to find a middle of the road to make it a win-win.”
On April 30, the Greene County Board of Commissioners, which holds the ultimate veto power on any plan the committee presented, passed a resolution 2-1 stating that they will not allow the site to close. Commissioner Koogler, who sits on the policy committee, voted against the resolution.
At its May meeting, the committee, with guidance from the EPA and acceptance from Commission President Bob Glaser, agreed the Xenia site would stay open but there would be flexibility in the updated plan that allowed for a feasibility study.
If the committee determined that cost savings could be achieved and that changes to the site’s operations are advisable, the committee could submit changes to the county commissioners and Ohio EPA for possible implementation.
Public comments are being taken until Sept. 8. A public hearing will be held 6 p.m. Sept. 10 in the media center, 541 Ledbetter Road, Xenia. Written and verbal comments concerning the plan update will be accepted at the public hearing.
Scott Halasz covers Xenia and Greene County for the Xenia Daily Gazette. He can be reached at 937-502-4507.