June 28, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Medina County preparing to seek bids to run recycling center

Tipping fees and a new contract to run the county’s recycling center topped the discussion between county commissioners and Medina City Council members during their annual joint meeting Monday.

The county’s contract with Cleveland-based Envision Waste, the company that operates the Central Processing Facility in Westfield Township, expires at the end of the year and officials are preparing to seek bids to operate it.

“We are looking at putting together a contract that specifically spells out what the new contractor needs to do,” Commissioner Adam Friedrick said.

The county plans to select a winning bid after Sept. 25.

The county and Envision have been at odds over the flow of information.

To help draft a request for proposals, county Sanitary Engineer Amy Lyon-Galvin in March requested documents concerning “equipment replacement schedules; all operating and maintenance costs, including utility cost and … staffing levels (by title) and equipment replacement or repair activities, including parts and labor.”

Envision refused. “This information contains trade secret information, and given the fact that the county may be competitive bidders to us, the timing of this request is questionable” Envision CEO Steven Viny said.

County officials have discussed taking over the facility.

On Tuesday, Lyon-Galvin said there has been some progress.

“They gave us some information and we are gathering additional information by our own means,” she said.

The county’s solid waste plan approved by the state must be updated by year’s end. The county hired Westerville-based GT Environmental to help draft a plan for how the facility should operate and what services potential operators will be asked to bid on.

The county plans to submit a contract proposal to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for approval late this month.

At Monday’s meeting, Medina officials told Friedrick and Commissioner Steve Hambley that the county needs to keep the tipping fees associated with the recycling center low, citing a $2 per month hike in the trash rate for city residents, effective Oct. 1.

The Medina Sanitation Department serves more than 7,000 households in the city and accounts for 60 percent of the waste that is processed at the Central Processing Facility, city Service Director Nino Piccoli said last week.

Friedrick said the proposed contract would aim at recycling 6 percent of the waste and moving another 7.5 percent offsite, per Ohio EPA regulations.

“We like the system that we have,” he said. “But we want to get more conventional recyclables off the line.”

The new contract likely would include cosmetic improvements to the facility.

Friedrick said improvements could be made to the structure but that everything inside the facility is in fine working order.

“The facility looks like an antiquated operation and it needs to be improved,” At-large Councilman Bill Lamb said.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.

Andrew Davis About Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis covered Medina city government for The Gazette from January 2014 to May 2015. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.