The Eastwood Recycling Group, Inc., of Huron, Ohio, plans on treating sanitary septic waste within a building at the former Libbey-Owens-Ford Pilkington Glass site on East Broadway in Northwood.
The plant will be managed by Eastwood Environmental, Inc., a sister company of Eastwood Recycling Group, with an on-site operating staff and engineering oversight from its main office in Huron.
Eastwood Environmental, Inc. has over 20 years of experience in working with municipal waste and wastewater treatment, according to John Lubimir, an official from the company who gave a presentation to Northwood City Council on Oct. 11. He was joined by his partner, Derrick Chennault, president of the company.
“We’re looking forward to becoming part of the business community here, getting to know the folks I’m working cooperatively with, the city council and the staff, as we start the new project at the old Pilkington Glass facility,” said Lubimir.
“We’re excited to be building a pilot project here in this area for specifically treating septage, which is highly concentrated municipal waste, in an effort to try and relieve some of the burden on the publicly owned treatment plants, which we all know occasionally experience violations and discharges into our waterways,” he said.
The company will be located on the south side of the building at the site, he said.
“We’ve committed to lease 30,000 square feet for 10 years with an option to expand that to 20 years,” he said. “This is a long term commitment for us. We’re going to invest a significant amount of money and infrastructure in a portion of the building and we’re looking forward to being here a long time.”
Among the benefits in locating at the site, he said, is “an opportunity to help return that property on East Broadway into a usable piece of property that will hopefully enhance the tax revenue and the property tax base in the area.”
Other benefits, he said, include the reduction of groundwater contamination caused by ground application on local farm fields, and improved access for local waste hauling businesses, allowing them ample time to respond to local homeowners needs for pumping out septage tanks, he said.
“One of the primary motivations of this project is the demand that waste haulers are facing. Frequently, there are issues associated with access to the plant, either due to the time of day or as a result of rain events. As a result, the haulers, the local business people in this area, of which there about 16 to 18, have a problem being able to service their customers. So what we hope to be able to do is give them a 24/7 alternative so they can do a better job of serving their residential customers in the area,” he said.
The company also expects to create, initially, a small number of jobs at the facility during the construction and operation phase, he said.
The facility plans to process up to 40,000 gallons per day of septage, which will be transported to the facility via tank trucks, he said.
Chennault developed the process over a 15 year period based on his experience in operating municipal treatment plants, he said.
“We’re actually treating the water to a level which is cleaner than what you would normally see from a normal municipal plant discharge. As a result, we have some options, as a result of the low flow. We can use a retention pond to allow it to evaporate, we could do spray irrigation, or we could discharge it into a stream that is actually piped underneath that property. Our preference is not to discharge anything into an Ohio waterway,” he said.
The company does not deal with municipalities, but private contractors.
Councilman Randy Kozina asked about the average number of trucks that will be going into and out of the site.
Lubimir estimated there will be six to eight trucks per day initially.
“As we ramp up to full processing capacity, we’re looking at maybe 10 to 12 per day. Those will be spread out over 12 to 14 hours. Nothing significant from a traffic standpoint. But the problem now of course is when the Toledo plant turns them away because of a major rain event due to infiltration, they can’t take the septage, so their choices are to drive to Bowling Green, or haul it to Oregon, if they accept septage, or go as far as Sandusky. So we’re simply reducing travel time for them so they can generate more business and do a better job servicing their customers,” he said.
The facility will not emit odor, he said, “because of the extensive odor control equipment that’s required and because it’s indoors.”
The company is waiting for final approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which will regulate and monitor the facility, he said.
“We will be working under the auspices of the EPA. This is a very, very highly vetted, and carefully planned, process. It goes through an extensive engineering review by the EPA. We’re not only working through the northwest regional office, but also the folks down in Columbus as we go through the complete engineering review. Our timetable is to complete the engineering review and analysis within 90 days, and do anything we need to in terms of municipal compliance within that timeframe. Then we hope to start construction in early spring with the goal of being fully operational by late summer,” he said.