When the old Urbana landfill on the upper northeast side of the city closed in 1988, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency required the city to provide post-closure care of the facility for at least 30 years. On Tuesday, City Council approved a request by administration to pay the city’s engineering consulting firm, Hull & Associates Inc. of Toledo, $93,500 for gas compliance and remediation services at the landfill.
“Hull met with the Ohio EPA in the middle of June and explained all the different steps to go to make sure we remain compliant,” Director of Administration Kerry Brugger said. “Like we’ve said before, we are in a 30-year closure plan, and for the last 27 years we’ve been compliant. Our intention is to continue to do that.
“Over the years, council has been very supportive in making sure that happens,” he added.
The scope of work Hull & Associates has agreed to provide the city to make sure the landfill remains in compliance for years to come involves six tasks.
The first task, according to Brugger, gives Hull & Associates “the opportunity to sit down with the state and explain what we are going to do, where we are going to do it, and how it is going to get done.
“Before anybody does any poking around the landfill perimeter, you have to get state permission,” he added.
The second task will involve tests to check the integrity of the current gas extraction system in place. According to Chad Hall, wastewater superintendent, the landfill contains 29 gas monitoring wells.
At an estimated cost of $44,300, the third and most expensive of the six tasks involves landfill Geoprobe exploration activities in which a cap study will be completed to assess the existing condition of the cap.
“This is where they will really get into the field and start doing some Geoprobe and additional testing and monitoring,” Brugger said. “They will do soil boring and collect a lot more data than we are currently collecting to validate what the system is providing us at this point.”
The fourth task will involve the replacement or refurbishment of gas vents to allow for passive venting through the gas extraction system.
After the system is refurbished for passive venting, task five involves Hull & Associates completing performance monitoring and reporting activities in which the data will be tabulated and evaluated.
Brugger said once the first five tasks are complete, Hull & Associates will carry out the final task – meeting with the Ohio EPA to discuss the data and to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to satisfying the requirements under the 30-year post-closure care plan.
Council was reminded after the 30 years are up in the next couple of years, the Ohio EPA could enforce another lengthy monitoring plan if it sees fit.
“We are doing our diligence to maintain it,” Brugger said. “It’s always going to be the city’s landfill, and we’ve got to continue to make sure it remains in compliance.”
Curbside recycling to remain at status quo
The city’s residential curbside recycling program will continue to be handled by Waste Management of Ohio Inc. after council agreed to exercise a one-year extension option with the company.
“They’ve done an excellent job for us,” Brugger said.
Under the one-year agreement, which will begin Sept. 1, the cost per residential unit will remain at the current rate of $3.18 per month.
The city’s monthly cost, based on 3,600 residential units, will be $11,448. The cost is covered through the city’s Recycling Fund, which is funded through revenues collected from residential utility billing accounts.
Waste Management, according to Brugger, is attempting to ramp up use by city residents of its “carts with lids” versus the “open bins.”
Residents can request a 64-gallon recycling cart be dropped off by calling Waste Management at 866-797-9018. The standard 18-gallon recycling bins can be picked up at the city’s utility office inside the municipal building at 205 S. Main St.
Council signed off on two separate purchase orders concerning sludge production and removal at the city’s Water Reclamation Facility.
To ensure the facility has enough polymer on hand to properly separate water from sludge during sludge production, council approved the purchase of $15,000 worth of polymer from One Aqua Source Inc.
Hall said the increase in polymer use this year is due to changes in the characteristics of the sludge and the introduction of a new piece of equipment to the facility, which recently underwent an upgrade and expansion.
“We are doing many different trials and operations to see if we can get this thing back to the way it was prior to the new plant,” he said. “We are already seeing a change today … for the better.”
As for disposal of the sludge, council agreed to have it hauled away by Cherokee Run Landfill at a cost of $20,000.
“The sludge characteristics have not changed to meet EPA thresholds, so our only option is landfill,” Hall said. “We can’t land apply as we have in the past.”
He added the issue is primarily with the levels of nickel and zinc in the sludge, which are industrial wastes.
As for discovering where the nickel and zinc is originating from, the investigation is ongoing.
“We’ve been doing spot checks for the past six months,” Hall said.
In other business:
•The Sewer Department is currently cleaning and inspecting sewer lines in the 2nd Ward.
Hall said the team is working in the area of the fairgrounds and will move to Scioto Street before heading east to complete the rest of the 2nd Ward by year’s end.
•Through the Ohio Department of Transportation’s annual winter road salt bid program, the city has been awarded 700 tons of salt to be delivered in June at a cost of $54.90 per ton.
Brugger noted the cost is roughly a 23 percent reduction from last year’s per ton price of $71.67.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.