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Developing a Special Waste Collection Center

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Keith A. Bailey, Director, Lorain County Solid Waste Management District

The Lorain County, Ohio Solid Waste Management District owns and operates a Special Waste Collection Center that has successfully served a population of 300,000 residents since June 2010. This Excellence Award-winning facility is designed to collect and process special waste materials not typically collected at curbside or drop-off recycling programs.

The Lorain County Collection Center has diverted more than 2,600 tons from landfills since its inception. One of the key features of its success is its ease of use by the public. The Collection Center is designed to be a drive through for residents delivering their HHW, fluorescent bulbs, E-Scrap, tires and other acceptable materials inside the Collection Center building. This allowed them to process 28,632 vehicles and 34,558 households in their first two years of operation alone.

Simply getting the materials to the Collection Center is only half the battle, however. Lorain County manages to divert approximately 92% of the materials collected for recycling or reuse. This SWANA Webinar will explore how they handle a wide variety of materials, including:

  • Household hazardous waste
  • Scrap tires
  • Electronics
  • Fluorescent bulbs/ballasts
  • Shred days
  • Books
  • Batteries
  • Old corrugated cardboard
  • Metals
  • Christmas trees
  • Construction materials (donated to Habitat for Humanity -partnership for America Recycles Day)

The development of the Collection Center was a vision that was developed as a part of a long range solid waste management plan. For many years, the District held one day collections for household hazardous waste (HHW), electronic waste (E-Scrap) and tires. These programs were initially successful, but they were expensive to run. Over time, the cost for the amount of service provided throughout the year was difficult to justify.

In late 2009 and early 2010, the County began evaluating properties for a Collection Center. During the same time period, the Lorain County Port Authority decided to purchase a former commercial building that had few tenants remaining in order to provide needed space for their operations. In order to solve the needs of both organizations, the County Port Authority leased a significant portion of the structure to the District. The transformation of this space will be discussed, including details of the redesign, including aspects of the ventilation, electrical, plumbing, lighting, and fire suppression systems. This means that even the Collection Center itself is a great example of reuse.

January 01, 2013
Available for Immediate Download

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