Ohio EPA head defends Barnes

Officials, residents want Barnes Nursery compost facility to move elsewhere because of odor.
Andy Ouriel
Dec 23, 2013
All three Huron Township trustees called for Barnes Nursery to shut down a compost facility, claiming rotten smells bother area residents.

They relayed these concerns to the Ohio EPA, according to a letter the Register obtained through a public records request.

Barnes Nursery, a full-service landscaping company overseeing garden centers, also operates a compost facility, whichdecomposes yard waste, food and other organic material into fertile soil.

“We have received numerous complaints about the odor coming from the site,” according to the letter signed by trustees Robert Boos, Ed Enderle and Don Ritzenthaler. “Given the number of complaints we have received pertaining to the odor created by the decomposing food waste, we do not think that the location of the foodwaste recovery facility is appropriate”

In response, Ohio EPA environmental specialist Susan Hardy defended Barnes Nursery, claiming employees at the Cleveland Road facility have:

• Registered and operated as a certified compost facility for 21-plus years.

• Allowed Ohio EPA and Erie County Health Department officials to inspect the property immediately after a complaint’s filed.

In fact, an inspection typically occurs on the same day a complaint’s filed.

“Currently, there are no outstanding violations pertaining to the facility” Hardy wrote about Barnes Nursery.

Barnes Nursery’s compost facility operator Sharon Barnes expressed disappointment with how trustees bypassed her and the company to pursue some resolution on this issue.

“They never called me,” Barnes said. “We haven’t had any problems since late August. We know we are dealing with some waste that can be problematic if it’s not handled right. We work very hard to eliminate any odors”

Barnes Nursery accepts food waste across the region, including from various businesses, such as Kroger and Walmart.

“We’re going to improve this facility with technology,” Barnes said. “The last thing our company wants is to be a nuisance”



AEM Sharon....Activated Effective Microorganisms Works great for keeping the smell and bugs downs, plus it speeds up the decomposition.


If the neighbors have a problem then move


The headline states "Ohio EPA Head" but only mentions an Environmental Specialist from the regional office. Did Scott Nally, the head of the Ohio EPA comment as well?


We have become a nation of complainers.




These "neighbors" need to get a life!!! I believe it is time to get some new township trustees.


The yard waste recycling has been there for years, but the food waste recycling is more recent.

No doubt the odor of rotting food has added a distinctive ambiance to the neighborhood.


My thoughts as well, their original permit was for composting. Most people consider that vegetation like grass clippings, leaves and other naturally growing items. Maybe they can find a more distant location to process the food material, I may be wrong but is it not standard practice for the land fill to cover all dumped material every day, keeping dust and odor down?



Julie R.

I don't blame the neighbors one bit. I took a few bags of leaves out there last year in the trunk of my car and was only there for a few minutes, yet I swear that nasty foul smell from that place lingered in my car for over a week!


Let them run their buisness. They have been a great company for decades and with this newer food compost, they will get better and better as time goes on. All people do is bi#$h and complain now a days. It us sad, pathetic, and ridiculous. Get a life, and worry about what you are doing instead of what everyone else is doing. It is not even all that bad....

The Big Dog's back

Beech and complain huh? When you have food you have rodents, varmints and predators.


So what? It's not an urban environment - it's within a quarter mile of working commercial farmland.


Same as when you have a business.


No one who bought near the facility during its 21 year presence has any place complaining. It was there when they bought.

Years ago, people who lived near the Cuyahoga County Airport were complaining about the noise, and someone challenged them on buying a home next to an airport with expectations of pastoral silence. They responded that the realtor selling them the house told them that the airport was going to close soon. Yeah, that whole aviation thing is just a passing fad, those Wright brothers were crazy, and I have a bridge for sale. The most important thing to look at in buying property is what's on the OTHER side of the property line, because you can't change that.