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Ohio Solid Waste District to consider actions to further separate from recycling nonprofit.

A resolution slated to be introduced at an upcoming board meeting of the Athens-Hocking Solid Waste District is intended to separate the district from the nonprofit corporation that runs recycling programs.

It includes a provision calling for unionized employees of the district who provide recycling services to be fired March 1, so that they can be rehired by the nonprofit. It also would separate office space and transfer assets and contracts.

Sandy Shonborn, regional director of the American, Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said she is aware of what is being considered and plans to attend the meeting, but she declined to comment on it publicly at this point. The union represents about 14 recycling program workers. It's unclear if the resolution will be approved as drafted. County Commissioner Chris Chmiel, a board member of both the district and nonprofit, said he will vote against it unless it is rewritten--although his objection doesn't relate to the transfer of the employees.

Over the years, the district and nonprofit have become entwined. Until last year, the six county commissioners from the two counties sat on both boards. The nonprofit's board was changed to be a three-member board, but in a way that gave Athens County control, which prompted Hocking County to withdraw from the nonprofit.

At a previous meeting of the district board, it was decided that a commissioner from each county would meet with legal counsel Garry Hunter to work out how to further separate the nonprofit from the district. Athens County Commissioner Lenny Eliason and Hocking County Commissioner Clark Sheets participated, and the resolution to be introduced resulted from that meeting, Eliason said. Sheets could not be reached for comment Friday.

The resolution calls for:

* Union employees of the district and its secretary to be fired March 1 and become employees of the nonprofit, Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers Inc. Chmiel said the nonprofit would provide current employees with the same pay and benefits

* Recycling equipment, including trucks, to be appraised by March 1 so it can be offered for sale to the nonprofit, although terms of the sale would still need to be negotiated.

* All customer billing for recycling and garbage collection services (currently performed by district employees) to be taken over by the nonprofit on March 1.

Source: Steve Robb, Athens Messenger

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Publication:Solid Waste Report
Date:Feb 12, 2014
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