REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Turf war trashes another good idea

We're amazed county commissioners are even considering putting the kibosh on a private industry pilot program to compost food waste.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

We're amazed county commissioners are even considering putting the kibosh on a private industry pilot program to compost food waste.

Barnes Nursery secured a federal grant it will match for a total investment of more than $500,000 to begin recycling food waste from area restaurants.

But Barnes cannot move forward the way it intends without a stamp of approval from county commissioners because the county controls how solid waste is disposed. Keeping those garbage trucks coming to the county landfill seems to be the No. 1 priority; the fees the county gets are more important than good solid waste management.

County Sanitary Engineer Jack Meyers said about the Barnes' effort that he's "leaning towards recommending (commissioners) not approve it." Studying composting options would be better, Meyers said, than actually composting.

Spending money for a study makes more sense to Meyers, but it makes no sense to us.

Waiting for the results of a study to determine how to proceed rather than simply proceeding is another example of commissioners impeding progress. Private industry -- not government -- is the place where innovations happen.

The Ohio EPA says the county should not stand in the way, and using it's "flow control" power to stop the Barnes pilot program would be a misuse of power.

We hope commissioners see that before stopping the efforts of a private company, but we aren't confident they can see past their need to be in control.