Because of his extensive background in waste management the County commissioners chose to appoint Mr. Tom Koogler to the Greene County Solid Waste Committee.
Under his guidance the Solid Waste Committee voted to close the yard waste sites and divert the yard waste to private interests in the name of saving $200,000.
The problem is Greene County is under agreement with the EPA and closing the yard waste sites, particularly the Xenia site would violate our agreement with the EPA.
Next the workers at the yard waste sites are bargaining unit employees and cannot be let go if work is diverted from them. Therefore they would have to be shifted to other jobs in the County.
Also the diversion of the yard waste to private companies would create other problems for various agencies in the County since they use the free mulch that the yard waste site produces. These agencies include: Adult Detention Center, Juvenile Detention Center, Glen Helen, County Parks and Trails, Fairgrounds, Bath Township, Fairborn, Xenia Waste Water Treatment Plant, and Camp Clifton, not to mention the citizens of Greene County who pick up free mulch at the Xenia site.
The Xenia yard site processes over 17,000 tons of yard waste a year. Taking a very conservative approach to the conversion of this material to mulch would look something like this: 17,000 tons of yard waste material will generate approximately 8,500 tons of mulch. 8,500 tons of mulch x 3 (tons to cubic yards) x $30.00 (price of mulch per cubic yard) = $765,000.
Should the County be diverting this amount of material to private industry without an RFP?
No one has shown me where $200,000 will be saved, only problems created and there is no detailed plan as to where the saving would be spent. Ultimately, the Greene County Commissioners will make the final decision as to altering the hours or closing of the Xenia yard waste site.
Sometimes, if something isn’t broken, you shouldn’t try to fix it. I will not be voting to alter the hours of operation, or closing the Xenia yard waste site.
Bob Glaser is a Greene County Commissioner and guest columnist.