- The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO), under fairly new management, has made several changes and set new goals for its 164-acre landfill. Its two main goals are to finalize a plan to extend the landfill’s life beyond 30 years without expanding its size, and to increase recycling by 5% by 2018. The recycling operation is in question as Florida-based Team Gemini agreed to build a $100 million sorting facility, starting in June, but construction hasn’t started.
- SWACO also has a new staffing structure to include 14 managers, 11 who will be new to the organization. Since Authority Executive Director Ty Marsh came on board, the organization cut 20 administrative positions, but created nine jobs. Overall, the 2016 budget includes 10 less jobs, down from 125 to 115, saving about $1 million as reported in the Columbus Dispatch.
- Marsh said the organization will hire a consultant to outline how to extend the landfill’s life. Any plan would need approval from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Marsh said he inherited an organization that needed a change in culture and management, which required cleaning house.
"This was not about we don’t have the money. It was about, how do we operate efficiently with the resources we have?" he said, adding SWACO had no big picture or long-term goals when he came on board.
Lynn Bruno, spokeswoman for Jackson Township, said the municipality is happy with the current direction of focus: to work now on preventing future landfill expansion and to pump recycling.
"They [SWACO management] are definitely proactive and taking seriously the concerns that are brought forward," said Bruno.
The focus on recycling will address both environmental and economic issues, Marsh believes. The recycling operation seems to be in limbo for now, but leadership has made finding a workable plan a priority for a sustainable future.