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The Daily



07-23-03: Celina landfill operators ask for expansion

The Daily Standard
    Celina Sanitary Landfill is seeking to expand its current facility on Depweg Road south of Celina by 40 acres, and at least one city official is balking at the plans.
    This week the utilities committee of Celina City Council briefly discussed a request from the landfill management seeking a letter from the city in support of planned expansion.
    Adam Burelson, site manager of the landfill, said in a letter to the city the landfill only has three years of capacity remaining. If the necessary approvals are not received, the landfill will be forced to close, he states.
    "If the landfill is forced to close, we believe that the area will lose a valuable resource, a good neighbor and friend of the community," Burelson wrote. "I hope our effort to assist the city in the recent cleanup supports this belief. More importantly, I hope our actions on a daily basis support this belief."
    The landfill management has not yet formally requested an expansion from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It also will need to get zoning approval from Franklin Township and a permit from the Mercer County Board of Health.
    Celina Safety-Service Director Mike Sovinski told the committee the landfill is seeking to use 40 acres west of the facility already owned by the company.
    If the landfill closes, the stream of money it generates to support the county's recycling program will cease. Sovinski said the county would be required to raise nearly $200,000 annually to run the state-mandated recycling program now funded by "tipping fees" at the landfill. The fees are charged to trash haulers when each truckload of waste in dumped at the landfill. Sovinski said Celina would probably need to chip in $80,000 of that amount.
    Councilman Bob Nuding complained about the poor service from Celina's trash hauler, Waste Management Inc.
    Sovinski said issues with Waste Management are completely separate from the existence of a landfill in Mercer County. City and county offices field numerous complaints about garbage trucks picking up the clear bags marked for recycled material with the green trash bags.
    Sovinski told The Daily Standard that Waste Manage-ment has been contacted many times about the complaints. The company says the recyclables are picked-up with trash sometimes because of manpower shortages, but they are separated out later on.
    "People take the time to sort them out and they expect those recyclables to be recycled," Sovinski said, adding that Celina's contract with the company simply states recyclables "need to be picked-up."
    Nonetheless, Nuding said he doesn't agreed with the landfill expansion, or the service from Waste Management. He asked why the landfill was placed so close to Grand Lake St. Marys in the first place.
    "Why would they have done that 20 or 30 years ago? I have serious reservations about expanding the current operations," Nuding said.
    The committee did not make a recommendation on whether the city should support the expansion. Sovinski said the issue will be discussed again.


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The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822