County officials to hold talks on landfill purchase

One commissioner wants to negotiate fees for the county.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County officials expect to negotiate host agreements next week with TransLoad America Inc., which is closing a deal to buy a privately owned, dormant landfill in Smith Township.
Representatives of the New Jersey-based company met Tuesday with county commissioners, township trustees, a Regional Chamber staff member and employees of the county's recycling division to outline its plans in the southwestern corner of Mahoning County.
The 1,140-acre landfill is on Oyster Road north of Courtney Road, said Jerry Ritchie, a Smith Township trustee. It was family owned, but no dumping has occurred there for about a year, he said.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has granted a permit to install for the landfill, said Jim Petuch, director of the county recycling division.
TransLoad America moves waste by rail rather than truck, said David C. Stoller, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. TransLoad will install about three miles of railroad track to connect the landfill site with Norfolk Southern's current rail lines, Stoller added.
The company still needs final approval from OEPA to bale and shrink-wrap municipal solid waste. Baling and shrink-wrap is new landfill technology that's being used in Europe, Stoller said. Waste is first wrapped in netting, then plastic film, which reduces odor, blowing debris and leaching at the landfill, he explained.
TransLoad also would accept some construction and demolition debris at the Smith Township site, Stoller said. As many as 25 jobs may be created, said Dorsel Cobb Jr., who will be the landfill's manager.
"We want to be an important contributor to the local economy," Stoller said, adding that the local site will be a flagship for TransLoad America.
The permit to install is for 5,000 tons of garbage per day, up to six days a week. Stoller estimated about half of that amount will come from out of state.
Commissioner Anthony Traficanti said he wants to discuss a fee schedule with TransLoad, similar to the deal that was negotiated last fall with Browning-Ferris Industries and its Carbon Limestone landfill in Poland Township. The county receives 30 cents per ton of municipal solid waste that BFI brings here from beyond a 175-mile radius. That's been estimated to generate at least $250,000 per year.
The county is always looking for alternative ways to supplement its general fund, Traficanti said.
"We aren't greedy, but we always got the short end of the stick on host agreements," Ritchie said of Smith Township residents. Stoller said he is "absolutely prepared" to negotiate fees.
Ritchie said the company sounds as if it would do a good job of managing the landfill. "I would rather see a landfill in operation than one sitting idle," he said.
Stoller, who is an attorney, was working for a New York private equity firm that helped him to launch American Disposal Services in 1993. That company acquired and consolidated more than 70 waste management companies in the Midwest. American Disposal became a publicly traded company in 1996 and was sold in 1998 to Allied Waste for more than $1.3 billion.

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