Athens County Votes on New Waste Management Plant

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Tonight, Logan city council will be voting on a new waste management initiative. The ordinance is called the Athens-Hocking Solid Waste Management Plan. It fulfills the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s mandate to update waste management protocols every five years.


The new ordinance proposes a three-dollar per ton generation fee, which will increase the recycling fee to 45 cents per month per household. It will also fund the building of another recycling plant.


Nelsonville city manager Joseph Scherer said last night the EPA’s plan would be “considerably more expensive.”


All three city councils have until February 22 to approve the measure.


Currently, the only recycling plant in all of Athens and Hocking counties exists in Chauncey. Logan’s recycling plant was shut down last year due to budget constraints.


The City of Athens has voted in favor of the ordinance, Nelsonville City Council did the same last night and the vote now rests on Logan.


Because the ordinance needs 60% of the population’s approval, and the agreement of the two largest municipalities in both counties, Logan’s vote is crucial.


If the plan fails, the Ohio EPA will have to take responsibility for drafting its own plan. This will likely cause the fee to increase.


Athens County residents also voiced their opinions at last night’s Nelsonville City Council meeting.


“If the state would come in and establish the plan for the district, then the cost would go (up) 12 or 15 dollars per household rather than three,” Athens resident Bob Baughman said. “And so the logical way is to go with that smaller amount.”


While a fee increase is not ideal for residents of Athens and Hocking counties, it seems inevitable regardless of the voting results.


“It’s whether you want a little dog to bite you or a big dog to bite you,” Nelsonville Councilman Eddie VanBibber said.


Logan rejected a similar proposed increase in October of last year and once again, the city council members will be key to passage of the measure.