Solid Waste District Postpones Action On Zero Waste Plan

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Athen-Hocking Solid Waste District tabled action Monday on whether to support the Athens-Hocking Zero Waste Action Plan, which sets goals and strategies for reducing solid waste through reuse and recycling.

A vote on whether to pass a resolution of support was tabled because a Hocking County board member was absent from Monday’s meeting, and after the district’s director of operations and grants, Roger Bail, questioned whether the plan treats Athens and Hocking Counties equally.

The matter was tabled until next month’s meeting, and Board President Lenny Eliason asked Bail to put his concerns in writing so the board could review them.

“I have some concerns about the way it’s written up, because it doesn’t cover the whole entire solid waste district,” Bail told the board. “In Hocking County it doesn’t seem to cover as much or put as much into support of it …”

Kyle O’Keefe, zero waste coordinator for Rural Action, disagreed with that assessment.

“I don’t believe there is a discrepancy or a preference for either (county),” O’Keefe said.

The plan is an outgrowth of the Appalachian Ohio Zero Waste Initiative, a project led by Rural Action and Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and the plan was developed by five working groups composed of area residents and officials. O’Keefe said there were an equal number of public meetings in both Athens County and Hocking County.

O’Keefe said an implementation committee is being formed that will include representatives of the two counties. Members of the solid waste district board — which is made up of the six county commissioners from Athens and Hocking Counties — have been invited to be part of the committee, O’Keefe said.

“I see no reason that we should not be signing onto the zero waste plan, in my opinion,” Athens County Commissioner Chris Chmiel said a Monday’s meeting.

Hocking County Commissioner John Young asked that consideration of the matter be postponed until all three Hocking County commissioners are present. Commissioner Sanda Ogg was not at Monday’s meeting.

The board tabled the matter, and Eliason said any concerns about the plan will be discussed at the board’s next meeting. The board meets monthly.