XENIA —Two Greene County commissioners confirmed on Friday that they will not vote in favor of any plan closing the Xenia yard-waste drop-off site.
The site has been the center of much controversy since the county’s Solid Waste Management District Policy Committee announced plans to close three of the four county-run sites and shift operations to a pair of privately-owned facilities.
The committee said the county would save $200,000 with the closures and could use that money for other recycling-related programs such as education. If at least two commissioners don’t approve the closing of the Xenia site, it can’t happen.
Residents and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have voiced concerns. Residents are concerned with the set up of one of the new sites and the loss of free mulch, which is created when yard waste is ground. The EPA said closing the sites violates the current five-year plan on file with the state but eventually allowed Sugarcreek Township and Fairborn sites to close.
At the policy committee meeting on Wednesday, Greene County Commissioner Tom Koogler, a member of the committee, suggested exploring ways to keep the site open a few days a week and still use the private sites.
Once the final plan is drafted, county municipalities must ratify it, but the county board of commissioners have the final say. Commissioners Bob Glaser and Alan Anderson said they will not vote in favor of closing the site.
“No one has shown me where the $200,000 will be saved, only problems created and there is no detailed plan as to where the saving would be spent,” Glaser said. I will not be voting to alter the hours of operation or closing the Xenia yard waste site.”
More of Glaser’s comments and concerns can be read on the opinion page.
Anderson echoed Glaser’s financial concerns and added it was a nice effort but he can’t support the closure of the sites.
“If it came today, I would vote against it,” he said. “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. I just haven’t seen enough cost savings to offset (closing the site). It seemed like it’s good idea to look into it if we’re going to benefit from it.”
Anderson said if something substantial changes and his concerns are met he could change his mind but based on the EPA and citizen feedback, he’s against it.
Ron Volkerding, director of the county’s sanitary engineering department, was not available for comment as of press time Friday.
John Martin, the committee chairman, said he knows there are issues but hopes they are solved by May meeting.
“I think there is an equally convenient location at Bio-Source, but it is not a paved site and it won’t have volunteers and/or sanitary engineering people working,” Martin said. “Those are all issues that have to be taken into consideration. And it will not generate free mulch.”
Asked what the statements made by Glaser and Anderson do to the future planning Martin said “very little.”
“I haven’t heard it from them,” Martin said.