The new plan proposes creating more sites where people can deposit materials for recycling.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
SALEM -- It probably will be next year before a multicounty solid waste district that includes Columbiana County adopts a plan that calls for intensified recycling efforts and a higher waste-hauling fee.
The state has extended to August 2003 a February deadline for getting the plan adopted, said Mohammad Chowdhury, director of the Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison Joint Solid Waste District.
State law mandates that waste districts update their plans every five years.
The Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison district attempted to get a plan adopted last year but the effort was scuttled, necessitating the deadline extension.
Part of the approval process calls for the largest cities in each member county to approve the plan. East Liverpool, Columbiana County's largest city, refused to adopt last year's plan.
The city objected, in part, to the plan's proposal that the district construct a recycling processing plant. That service already is provided by the private sector, plant opponents noted.
What's in plan
Chowdhury said the new plan being devised contains a recycling processing plant proposal as a contingency. It's suggested that the district build such a facility only if private processing becomes unavailable, he explained.
Another aspect of the new plan is its proposal to boost the waste generation fee from $2.50 per ton to $4 per ton.
Generation fees are paid by waste haulers based on the amount of tonnage from a district that's deposited at landfills.
Haulers typically pass the fee on to residential and business customers by raising trash collection rates. Last year's rejected plan called for raising the fee to $5 per ton.
Chowdhury said the lower $4 fee is being proposed now, however, partly because the district has made construction of a recycling processing plant a contingency and is unlikely to need additional revenue to construct such a facility.
The $4-per-ton fee would generate about $400,000 annually. The $2.50-per-ton fee produces about $280,000 annually.
The district would use most of the additional $120,000 generated annually to operate an increased number of permanent recycling centers throughout the three-county district.
Currently, there are 11 permanent recycling sites districtwide. The plan calls for boosting that number to 43, Chowdhury said.
The district has about $100,000 reserved to pay for constructing the new recycling sites.
Columbiana County has eight of the 11 permanent sites now in use. Plans call for 18 more permanent sites to be added and spread throughout the county, Chowdhury continued.
Before the proposed waste plan can be adopted, it must be approved by a majority of communities in the county and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.