Board Opening

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) is accepting letters of interest for one available position on the... Read More »

Solid Waste Management Plan Update

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Earth Day - April 22, 2017

Every year, since 1970, there have been sustainable and earth focused activities during the month of April, and... Read More »

Earth Week in Columbus - April 8 through April 15

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  • Landfill Hours
  • Recycling Programs

Executive Director Update: Ty Marsh

The work we do at SWACO would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of residents, businesses, waste haulers, recyclers, employees and the communities we serve.

As we begin the New Year, I’d like to briefly reflect on recent accomplishments, share our enthusiasm for the future, and encourage each of you to continue to participate in ongoing efforts towards championing reduction and recycling in our community.

Franklin County Attains a Record Recycling Rate of 40%
With a national recycling rate of 34%, Franklin County residents, communities and businesses are doing more than ever to reduce waste, and reuse or recycle more. According to the data gathered in 2016 for 2015, Franklin County residents and businesses (not industrial) recycled 40% of all the waste generated.

As a result of improved reporting and a greater dedication to recycling and reduction efforts, these results exceeded expectations for 2016.

Nearly 70% of the solid waste thrown away in the landfill has the potential to be reduced, reused or recycled – with an estimated value of $41 million.

Our original goal to increase recycling from 33% to 38% by 2018 has been exceeded in 2015. Through continued engagement, and support of additional programming, we will strive to further that goal going forward.

Annual District Report Provides Perspective and Facts
SWACO gathers statistics on the amount of waste generated, and the amount of recycling materials received, reporting annually to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

In recent data:
 2 million tons of waste was generated
 1.2 million tons of waste were landfilled at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill
 915,754 tons were recycled (representing 45% of all the waste generated by residential, commercial and industrial)

We invite you to review the complete 2015 Annual District Report.

Reduced Tipping Fee Rate
SWACO is positioned to retire the debt on Columbus’s former Waste-to-Energy facility, and will reduce the cost of waste disposal, (known as a tipping fee), at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill.

After a three-month public process, including public hearings on the new, proposed rate structure, a formal action by the SWACO Board of Trustees has been completed.

The new rate structure, (a $3 reduction in rate per ton for disposal), will go into effect on April 1, 2017. The good news is that the new rate will continue to allow the organization to sustain current operations, maintain appropriate fund balance reserves, and provide diversion programming in 2017.

SWACO 2017 Budget Approved
The SWACO Board of Trustees recently adopted a new $47.8 million budget for 2017. The budget is fiscally prudent and moves the organization forward with basics of disposal and diversion and focuses on customer service including education and outreach.

In addition to the revenue generated by the tipping fee, SWACO anticipates receiving $2.5 million in royalty payments from the sale of landfill gas as part of the public-private partnership with Aria Energy.

As the 2017 budget suggests, this year will be a year of action.

Solid Waste Management Plan
The Solid Waste Management Plan describes SWACO’s strategies in achieving Ohio’s mandated waste reduction and diversion goals. Updated every five years, the plan outlines the types of programs and services SWACO offers to meet these requirements.

The updated draft plan, approved by the SWACO Board of Trustees, was submitted to the Ohio EPA in November, and beginning in the spring, the public and central Ohio communities will be able to review and participate in a public process to move towards the approval of the plan.

With the conclusion of a comprehensive assessment performed by SWACO staff in conjunction with industry consultants, SWACO is effectively implementing new and improved programming and services to reduce waste and increase diversion in our District.

Landfill Permit to Install
Simultaneously, SWACO has been meeting with community partners and landfill neighbors to discuss the plan to extend the life of the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill.

An application will be submitted to the Ohio EPA in February to provide residents and businesses the ability to safely dispose of waste, within the current planning boundary, for another 51.5 years, until 2068.

SWACO will reach out to the public in the first quarter to review the permit’s details and move towards conclusion of this process.

New Landfill ‘Cell’ Underway
Franklin County’s publicly owned landfill is an asset – providing residents and businesses with competitive waste disposal rates while always keeping the health, safety, and welfare of the community as top priorities.

Franklin County residents and businesses will be able to realize those public benefits for many years to come based on the actions that SWACO is taking to extend the landfill’s life.

In 2016, the groundwork for a new 33-acre landfill cell, (Cell H4), was constructed at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill. In layman’s terms, a cell is simply a certain area within the landfill for trash to be placed.

The design and construction cost approximately $15 million and SWACO is anticipating three years of use from the new cell. Beginning in December 2016, the new cell accepted its first load of municipal solid waste. It will hold 4.3 cubic yards of waste or about 3.2 million tons.

Today, the working face and roads are well maintained, contributing to shorter wait times, high productivity and increased revenues for haulers.

Introducing the New SWACO

During 2016, SWACO hosted over 88 informational meetings, tours and community events focused on engaging stakeholders and becoming a better community resource for the community.

We’ve targeted a number of projects to assist us in repositioning ourselves as a community leader including updating the SWACO brand, improving the SWACO.org website, and continuing to outpace the past with increased engagement within the community.

A new educational initiative will include a searchable database where residents can explore recycling opportunities, and for the first time in recent years, SWACO will create new assistance programs for commercial businesses and institutions.

Over the coming year you continue to see improved SWACO communications throughout our organization and across the community.

Welcome New Board Member Brian Will
The SWACO Board of Trustees continues to provide the extraordinary guidance and the leadership needed to move the organization forward.

We welcome Brian Will to the Board. Brian is the vice president of Global Talent Management, at Hexion Inc., a leading manufacturer of specialty materials used in wind turbine technology, housing, and automotive components. His Board representation includes industrial, commercial, and institutional waste generators.

Engage with SWACO
I encourage you to explore the www.swaco.org website and contact our staff to learn more about SWACO educational offerings and grants.

You may also join the conversation on Twitter (@SWACOGreen) and Facebook (http://www.facebook./SWACO.org).

We invite you to participate in the decisions and actions taking place over the next year and we thank you for your daily contributions for the good of this community and its future.

Ty Marsh
Executive Director