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”