Solid Waste Management in Ohio

In the late eighties, the State of Ohio entered into a debate regarding the future of solid waste management in our State. At that time, less than 5% of Ohio’s waste was being recycled. In addition, 67 out of 88 counties were deemed to have insufficient landfill capacity. Adding to this was a concern over out-of-state waste imports. At the time, nearly 20% of the waste landfilled in Ohio was being imported from the east coast.

In June of 1988, the Ohio General Assembly passed HB 592, the State’s comprehensive Solid Waste Management Law. This legislation created solid waste districts and gave more authority and responsibility to state and local government. Specifically, the law sought to:

  • Reduce reliance on landfills;
  • Maximize limited disposal capacity through state and local planning;
  • Encourage waste reduction, reuse, and recycling; and
  • Protect public health and the environment by upgrading solid waste regulations.

Today, solid waste management in Ohio is a unique partnership between the public and private sectors. Much of the collection, disposal and recycling infrastructure in Ohio is operated by the private sector. However, a significant amount of service, in all of these areas, continues to be provided by the public sector at the municipal, township, or county level. Solid Waste Districts play an integral role in this system by coordinating these activities and, where necessary, providing direct service to fill solid waste and recycling needs in individual communities.