The city is considering a move that would allow residents to dispose of "hazardous waste" once a year in Norwalk.
Safety-Service Director Dale Sheppard said he has talked with three companies that do hazardous waste collections about having a four-hour, one-day "Household Hazardous Waste" pickup in the city. The city's sanitation department does not have the resources, training or licenses needed to dispose of hazardous waste.
The attraction of these companies is that they handle all the necessary permits and paperwork with the Environmental Protection Agency and assume ownership of all hazardous waste as soon as it leaves a resident's possession meaning the city will never be liable.
"It would fall nicely into the new soil and water run off requirement. We can guarantee to the EPA that none of this stuff is getting into our water supply," Sheppard said.
Thus far, he has just one estimate based on pounds/gallons collected, with a total not to exceed $22,500. Sheppard and Mayor Sue Lesch said the city was investigating whether the city could fund the collection day.
Sheppard said the collection would probably last four hours at either the high school parking lot or the fairground's parking lot. He expects 500 to 700 vehicles would go through the collection the first year. Identification proving someone is a Norwalk resident would be required in order to avoid having "all of Northern Ohio" coming to Norwalk to dump hazardous material.
In many other communities, such projects are done at a county level. However, the county already has resources set aside in grant money for a tire recycling program and the funds to do a hazardous waste recycling project are cost prohibitive, said county commissioner Gary Bauer. He did say the program was a "good idea," but said because the waste needs to be shipped south for processing, it becomes too expensive to do county-wide.
Council member Skip Wilde said he "loved the idea" and was hoping the city could find some way to charge each resident who participated a nominal fee.
"Five dollars a car or truck ... something to help off set the cost," Wilde said. "If I had this stuff I'd surely pay."
Sheppard, however, said the waste collection companies would not be the ones to do that because it is "over and above" what they do. After conducting more research, Sheppard plans to come back to council with more details. These are hazardous waste items that would be included in an annual disposal program for city residents:
resins, glues and adhesives
fluorescent lamps and bulbs
gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel
SOURCE: City Safety Service Director Dale Sheppard