WILMINGTON — Westward expansion and recycling are the way to keep the city’s landfill going.
Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker told the News Journal the expansion of the landfill is a way to continue control of it — something the city has done for nearly 60 years.
“The landfill dates back to the 1960s. Over the years, the city has managed the landfill through multiple and federal changes and regulations,” said Shidaker.
In 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established new federal laws for municipal landfills. These included updates to location and operation standards, design standards, and monitoring requirements.
“In essence, what happened was that many small municipal facilities closed,” according to Shidaker. “I think it’s important to note that Wilmington persevered through all those changes and regulations when others could not.”
He attributed that to the hard work and dedication of the city’s landfill employees throughout the years.
The landfill has previously done two vertical expansions, in 2009 and 2014. The process for this horizontal expansion started back in 2018. The expansion will also help meet and exceed all the current rules and regulations for Ohio landfills.
This expansion — the first phase beginning in April — allows the city to expand the landfill by 24 acres, virtually doubling the size.
“The experts are telling us, depending upon how much trash we bring in, the life of this expansion will be between 25.8 and 45.8 years,” said Shidaker.
With recycling, Shidaker and City Administrator Marian Miller believe there’s still some public discussion and education needed.
“Recycling is becoming expensive,” said Shidaker. “A lot of municipalities are moving away from it because it’s becoming expensive. So, it’s a conversation we need to have with the public.”
Miller added, “Just because it’s plastic, doesn’t mean you can put it in the recycling bin.”
The city also used to be compensated for its recyclables; now they have to pay $20 a ton due to 50 percent of it having contaminated waste, according to Miller. Shidaker added they’re having a hard time finding someone to take their cardboard.
Contaminated recycling refers to non-recyclable materials or recyclable items not properly cleaned before being put in the bins.
Miller told the News Journal she’s hoping to get in contact with media students to help create content for a campaign to promote ways to better recycle.
Shidaker advised that if citizens have any questions in regards to the expansion or recycling to contact the Safety/Service Office at 937-382-6509 or visit the city’s website wilmingtonoh.org.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574