Many residents say they don't oppose a waste collection facility. They just don't want it near a school.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
CHAMPION -- Despite assurances from officials that a household hazardous waste collection facility planned in Warren Township will be safe, residents remain opposed.
About 60 Warren city and township residents attended an informational session Monday conducted at Kent State University's Trumbull campus by the Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District on its proposed facility.
The waste district plans to build the collection facility and office building on Enterprise Drive, off Parkman Road within the Warren city limits.
LaBrae School District officials, township trustees and some Warren city council members oppose the plan.
The planned facility is to be located on a 6.4-acre site near the site set for a new LaBrae school campus.
The solid waste district plans to construct a pole building and allow residents of the two counties to drop off household hazardous waste items such as paint and pesticides on designated days.
Solid waste district officials say the items would be shipped off that day. They wouldn't remain at the site. No industrial or commercial waste will be accepted.
Officials say it's like the periodic household hazardous waste collection days conducted throughout the two-county district.
Question and answer
"Why do you have to have this facility then if those collection days are working well?" asked Lydia Burger, a city resident.
Robert Villers, solid waste district director, said each of those collection days costs about $80,000 per year.
"It's not cost-effective and it's not providing the level of service," he said.
Villers said video cameras would be placed around the facility and anyone found to be leaving items there after hours would be prosecuted for illegal dumping.
"You're saying that the EPA rules will protect us, but you're dealing with a group of people who feel they've been betrayed," said Kay Anderson, township trustee.
Township residents have complained for months of a stench they believe is wafting from Warren Recycling Inc., which is located in the city, near the township line.
Commissioner Michael O'Brien, one of the solid waste district board members, said the collection days have been conducted at Parkard Park, near Turner Middle School, and at Howland High School, without problem or complaint.
Many residents say they don't oppose the idea of a collection facility. They just think it should be someplace else rather than near a school.
City Councilman James "Doc" Pugh, D-6th, proposed the waste district meet with health and welfare committee members about the possibility of locating the facility on property on South Main Street owned by the city. The area Pugh's proposing is near the city's waste treatment plant and other industrial facilities.
Villers said he would have to consult board members.
District officials said the site was chosen because it's a convenient location for residents of both counties. The solid waste district bought the land in June.
After the meeting, Ron Joseph, LaBrae school superintendent, said the school district remains opposed. The board has retained an attorney to explore options to halt the facility.