Ohios first small business hazardous
waste recycling center opened at a dedication ceremony Tuesday, October 25, 2005. Located
at 1085 Sweitzer Avenue in Akron, it will be operated as a two-year pilot called BizMat
serving Summit and Cuyahoga counties.
BizMat offers small businesses an affordable,
convenient and environmentally friendly program to properly manage hazardous materials
such as old paints, fertilizers, fluorescent bulbs, computers, caulks, etc.
Small businesses face an untenable set of choices when disposing of these types of
common but hazardous materials. The cost of properly managing the materials is out of
reach to most so they store hazardous waste on-site.
These practices are risky, posing an unnecessary danger to the work force and work
place; for those who may dispose of waste via a drain or on the ground, which can
contaminate ground water, there is health risk and legal liability. Others try to dispose
of it as trash that ends up in a landfill. This too is prohibited.
BizMat is a low-cost recycling center that assists schools, churches, offices, retail
shops and small businesses in the management and recycling of hazardous materials.
"BizMat is a real chance to finally show that business and the environment are not
mutually exclusive but, in fact, interdependent on one another for survival. Working with
small business to solve this problem helps everyone," said Jeff Wilhite, Akrons
deputy planning director and program chair.
Small businesses are defined as those that generate 220 lbs. or less of hazardous waste
per month. Classified as "conditionally exempt small quantity generators" by
regulation, businesses in this category make up 70% of the hazardous waste generated
today. (There are more small businesses than medium to large businesses.)
The project has been made possible through the support of the Ohio EPA, The Ohio Water
Development Authority, Lake Erie Protection Fund, GAR Foundation, Akron Community
Foundation, The City of Akron, The County of Summit, Cuyahoga County Solid Waste
Management District and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.
Ohio EPA is exempting BizMat from the standard permitting requirements. If the project
succeeds, it is hoped similar small business recycling centers can open elsewhere in Ohio.
The pilot project is managed by the nonprofit Ohio Organization for Recycling and
Reuse. Heritage Environmental Services will oversee daily operations. For complete
information on the program you can contact the project website at