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[GreenYes] Background on Zero Waste in Logan County, OH


I researched the following information as part of organizing a session on Sustainable Communities and Zero Waste for the National Recycling Coalition in Pittsburgh, PA on September 23, 2008.  As the story inspired me, I thought I should share this with others, to encourage more communities to get into the Zero Waste zone...

Gary
*********************
Logan County, Ohio - Zero Waste Zone

Alan Hale has been Coordinator for the Logan County Solid Waste District  ( www.logancountyrecycles.com) for 3.5 years.  Early in his tenure, he toured the Honda facility in his county that diverts over 92% of their waste from landfill.  He was so impressed that he nominated that facility for the Fred Schmitt Outstanding Industry Recycling Leadership award of the National Recycling Coalition ( www.NRC-recycle.org) in 2006. Honda received the award from the NRC that year, and Alan accompanied Honda to the NRC National Recycling Congress in Atlanta. 

At the Atlanta NRC event, Alan attended a training workshop by the GrassRoots Recycling Network (www.grrn.org) on Zero Waste Communities.  He also attended another workshop at which Eric Lombardi spoke, and attended a GRRN informal networking gathering at a Mexican restaurant.  At the GRRN workshop, he was asked to fill out a "Zero Waste Commitment Form" to indicate what he would do in the next month, next 6 months, and beyond to promote Zero Waste.  Alan noted that he kept thinking about that form and what he had answered over the next couple of years.

When Alan returned home from NRC, he went to the GRRN website and checked out information there about Zero Waste, and downloaded materials he wanted to help communicate about this.  He then went to his County Commissioners and recommended that they adopt a resolution to declare Logan County a Zero Waste Zone, and to strive for a goal of Zero Waste by 2020.  That resolution was adopted in March last year (see:
http://www.logancountyrecycles.com/pdf/Zero%20Waste%20Resolution%202020.pdf )

Since then, they have developed a Zero Waste website and helped organize small and large Zero Waste events.  They have expanded from providing 5 part-time recycling centers to adding two full-time recycling centers in the area of Indian Lake (in addition to a curbside recycling program).

They are also working on updating their District Solid Waste Management Plan this year.   Alan has told his consultants that Zero Waste is to be the backbone of the plan, integrated into every activity.  He told them that Zero Waste is the fabric of the District's existence from now on, and everything they do must be fashioned out of that fabric. 

The latest waste diversion data for Logan County (2006 numbers) documents their baseline to be:
  • Commercial/Residential 34%.
  • Industrial diversion 92%;
Logan County is a rural area of 49,000 people just NW of Columbus, OH.  They are home to Honda, and many farms. Indian Lake receives over 1 million visitors per year who come to fish and boat and enjoy this natural area. 

Alan reports that people who live, work and visit in the District are very excited about the goal of Zero Waste.  For more information, visit their Zero Waste website at: http://www.logancountyrecycles.com/zero-waste-philosophy.htm.

Gary Liss
Gary Liss & Associates
4395 Gold Trail Way
Loomis, CA  95650-8929
916-652-7850
Fax: 916-652-0485
gary@no.address
www.garyliss.com


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