Through an agreement with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Auglaize County Solid Waste District recently made changes and updates to its rules and regulations.
Auglaize County Solid Waste Coordinator Dave Reichelderfer said the update is part of a normal process but was something that was long overdue.
“When we submitted a plan to the EPA we said we would review some of the rules we have and update them,” Reichelderfer said. “We have finally done that. It’s something we should have done quite a while ago.”
Reichelderfer, who worked with the Auglaize County commissioners on the updates, said a lot of the changes were due to rules that are now irrelevant.
“They went back to when the district begin in 1989 and there have been a lot of changes,” Reichelderfer said. “A lot of the rules are no longer relevant. Times have changed. Several of them were obsolete, some were repetitive and not necessary.”
With the recent updates, 14 rules were eliminated and a couple new rules added, mostly to cite new waste facilities in the county.
Reichelderfer said periodic updates include new recycling drop-offs and expansion of existing programs. The updates must be approved by municipalities and townships throughout the county.
According to a resolution approved by the commissioners, the rules done away with were first ratified in a 10-year plan implemented in 1992.
Reichelderfer said the most instrumental rule change does away with one approved in 1994 which directed all solid waste generated from within Auglaize County to be disposed of at the St. Marys Landfill, which no longer is being used for such purposes.
He said once the rules are approved, they often don’t revisit them until it’s time to update them.
“We hardly ever go back to them now that the program is up and operating,” Reichelderfer said.
He said the rules mostly address the governing of the Solid Waste District. Many updates made periodically to the rules address recycling centers, which have been added into the program along the way.
New rules address construction or improvement of solid waste facilities in the district, prohibition of disposing of recyclable materials in the landfill, prohibition of scavenging of solid waste or recyclable materials, prohibition of tampering or damaging facilities, and establishment of penalties for violation of rules.
Reichelderfer said they wanted to get this version of updates completed prior to next year when they are expected to begin reviewing the rules again as part of a periodic update of the 15-year plan which is meant to prohibit and limit the receipt of solid waste generated outside the district; govern the maintenance, protection and use of solid waste collection or solid waste facilities in the district; and govern the development and implementation of a program for the inspection of solid waste materials generated outside of the state.
The commissioners said in the approved resolution that the Solid Waste Management District must provide for the diligent supervision, maintenance and protection of the solid waste collection system and solid waste facilities within the district and their use in order to assure the safe and sanitary management of solid waste within all incorporated and unincorporated territories of the district.
The last update of the plan was done in 2009 and is to be good for five years. With a new update scheduled to be in place by 2014, Reichelderfer said they would begin working on those updates late next year.
“We don’t expect many changes then but rather just updating numbers,” Reichelderfer said. “We don’t anticipate any policy changes.”