Summary of the RPHF Solid Waste District
As a result of House Bill 592, each Ohio county is required to establish or join other counties to form a "solid waste management district." The Ross, Pickaway, Highland, Fayette Joint Solid Waste Management District (RPHF SWMD) was established in 1989. The District began the necessary process to comply with regulations and goals set by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
The Ohio EPA requires that six waste reduction strategies be implemented that will enable the district to meet the goals established in the 1995 State Plan. In general, these goals are as follows:
Solid Waste Management Goals
Ensure the availability of reduction and recycling programs and opportunities for residential and commercial waste.
Reduce and/or recycle at least 50 percent of the total waste generation by the year 2000.
Provide informational and technical assistance on source reduction.
Provide informational and technical assistance on recycling, reuse, and composting opportunities.
Develop strategies managing scrap tires and household hazardous wastes.
Provide a solid waste management plan.
Prepare a market development strategy (optional).
In order to meet the above goals the district must document an array of measurements, evaluations and inventories. There is a great deal of information gathered, analysis and projections made to be written in a Plan (Goal #6). This Plan, covering at least 15 years, is updated and approved by OEPA every five years. Ohio EPA approved the Fourth Revision of the RPHF Solid Waste Plan on August 24, 2012. Work on the next revision will have OEPA approval by February 24, 2019.
The 15 year projections include population, waste generation, composition of the waste stream, landfill capacities and waste reduction percentages. The Plan must also include detailed strategies demonstrating compliances with the goals listed above and the mechanism(s) to fund implementation of the Plan once approved.
The RPHF SWMD is at a comparative disadvantage because of the relatively low population, lack of places to recycle and no communities conducting curbside collection of recyclables. These factors added to the socio-economics and attitude of residents have resulted in the inability to reach Goal #1. Numerous attempts have been made to document the necessary amount of recycling through surveys. The majority of local businesses either do not recycle or chose not to complete a short survey documenting waste reduction.
With the help of a Rumpke Recycling contract, the District has achieved Goal #1. This is being done in the most feasible manner available. The recycling program utilizes single-stream multi-material containers generally available 24/7. The drop-off program requires costly transportation while traveling all four counties, with processing in Columbus. The recycling program is plagued by misuse and surges of materials. The cost to provide this program approached $200,000 in 2013.
The District's expenditures were more than income in 2011 and resulted in a deficit in 2012. Like most governments and private business, we have been affected by tough economic times. Our revenue stream is based upon disposal tonnages. Tonnages, and therefore income, decreased each year from 2007 through 2010 while some expenses increased. The 2011 calendar year showed some improvement, however, we remain below projected revenue. During poor times less is manufactured resulting in less consumption, resulting in less trash landfilled.
The District needs a positive cash flow to remain solvent and in compliance. Our newly revised Plan will rely upon an increase in the Generation Fee from $2.00 to $3.00 per ton. There was a reluctance, but necessity, to increase this fee in order to illustrate a positive cash flow to the Ohio EPA during the 15 year planning period. This increase translates to about $2.75 per year for each District resident. This is certainly among the least expensive costs in Ohio.
The District also provides for special collections of waste tires and electronics when disposal opportunities are not available to residents. Some counties have businesses that allow for electronic disposal and the District does not wish to compete with the private sector. Although these events are not optimum for most residents, they will be sponsored as seen fit and when funds are available. Realize that thorough advertising is expensive and the events benefit only a small percentage of the population.
Outreach programming is available. Each of the four counties employs a Recycling Outreach Specialist. The Outreach Specialists are invited to classrooms, civic organizations, business and industry to inform the general public about recycling, waste reduction and District operations. Please call them or this office to receive this District benefit.
Be assured that the Board of Directors, consisting of each county's commissioners, is attentive and sensitive to costs and programming. It has been their intent to keep fees to the public as low as possible while meeting requirements. Hopefully, someday, there can be a progressive attitude to help solve the array of solid waste problems.
|Ross County Commissioners|
|Pickaway County Commissioners|
|Highland County Commissioners|
|Fayette County Commissioners|
|Assistant Director / Secretary to the Board|
|Judi Mannion – 29th Public Member|
|Doug Corcoran – Ross County Commissioner
Jeff Carman – Municipal
Ben Avery – Health Commissioner
Jim Hatfield – Township Trustee
Katherine Weiderman – Industry
Ray Wells – Citizen
Ronald Fields – Public
Harold Henson - County Commissioner
Terry Britton - County Commissioner
Tony Anderson - County Commissioner