By Matt Leingang
Enquirer staff writer
WINTON HILLS - Despite opposition from neighbors and two years of legal battles with the city of Cincinnati, a local waste center will be up and running next week.
Waste Management of Ohio will open a construction and demolition transfer station at the site of the former Environmental Land Development Association landfill on Este Avenue.
Construction and demolition debris includes wood, plaster, brick and concrete - items that can be dumped under less stringent rules than household garbage.
Waste Management of Ohio, which is based near Columbus and is part of the nation's largest solid-waste company, originally wanted the site to be a garbage transfer station.
But the Cincinnati Board of Health has denied a license for that activity every year since 2002, citing a long history of conflict with Waste Management, which had operated the former ELDA landfill.
The issue continues to be tied up in the Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals in Columbus.
"Looks like Waste Management has found a loophole," said Eileen Frechette, a Winton Hills resident. "Who is monitoring them? What will stop them from becoming a solid-waste facility?"
The Winton Hills neighborhood in northwest Cincinnati is home to 5,200 people.
Homeowners who live near the site complained to the Board of Health on Tuesday night. Residents oppose any waste operations there because of potential health risks and additional pollution.
The neighborhood is already home to factories and other waste sites.
Health Commissioner Malcolm Adcock said the company obtained an occupancy permit from the city's Department of Building and Inspection in 2002. The permit allows for construction materials to be sorted at the facility and reloaded into boxes or trailers, where it will then be shipped to other sites for recycling.
Adcock said the Health Department does not have authority to stop the project. However, he pledged to have health officials monitor the facility for any litter or odor violations.
Kathy Trent, government affairs director for Waste Management, said use of the facility as a construction and demolition transfer station will last for at least 18 months.
"We have one customer who is demolishing a building, and we are sorting the materials," Trent said. "There's no disposal on site."
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