XENIA — The Greene County Solid Waste Management District Policy Committee now has a timeline for when and if the Xenia yard waste drop-off site could close.
At Wednesday’s regular meeting, a lengthy discussion took place between the committee and a representative of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency with the end result being that all parties are on the same page for possible closure of the site, as early as September. The committee previously announced the Bath Township and Xenia sites would close permanently on March 1 and the Beavercreek site would be the only county-run location as it attempted to privatize drop-off options in a cost-saving effort.
However the EPA informed the committee and Greene County commissioners in late February that the sites could not close because that would go against the solid waste district’s current recycling plan which is a governing document under the Ohio Revised Code. After a March 11 meeting between Andrew Booker, an EPA supervisor, and the committee, both sides are ready to transition in the direction of closing the sites.
“It can be done,” Booker told the committee. “We slowed the process down, but we’re going to move forward. We just need a little more time to work on the plan language.”
The Xenia site collects as much as 17,000 tons of yard waste per year and is the “single most significant” location within the district, according to Booker. The new plan must be able to account for that kind of traffic to ensure that at least 25 percent of the residents participate in recycling. The committee’s plan is to utilize Bio Source, Inc., in Xenia and Echo-Green Recycling Enterprises, LLC in Fairborn in addition to the Beavercreek location.
Before the site can close the plan must be completed by the policy committee. After that, there is a public comment period of 30 days followed by a public hearing. The committee can choose to make more modifications before it votes to accept or reject the plan. After that it’s sent to the jurisdictions and the county commissioners, which have 90 days to ratify the plan. The commissioners and the largest municipality in the county (Beavercreek) must ratify the plan along with municipalities totalling 75 percent of the county population. Beavercreek would count toward that 75 percent.
If all the pieces fall into place in a timely matter, the plan could be delivered to the EPA in August, which would then have 90 days to approve it. However Booker said if all of the EPA’s concerns are met, the plan would be approved within three weeks.
Booker stressed that the public will have ample opportunity to voice concerns and that such input will be considered.
“There is the possibility that there will be a re-think,” Booker said.
The Bath and Sugarcreek townships locations will remain closed due to the low volume of yard waste dropped off there.