COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - The Rumpke Landfill in Colerain Township is not considered a public utility, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
Rumpke applied to the Colerain Township Zoning Commission for a permit to expand its facility in 2006 but township officials said no. Rumpke sued, saying its landfill is a public utility, and therefore was exempt from local zoning laws. Wednesday's ruling reversed a previous decision in Ohio First District Court of Appeals which was in favor of Rumpke.
Township trustee Jeff Ritter says the odor created from the landfill is an infringement on residents' quality of life.
"The township is in control of its own zoning for a reason because there are legitimate interest of our residents and businesses that they have for us to protect the quality of life for them," said Ritter. "It's very important for us to have control of the zoning issues in our township and to protect the quality of life for residents and businesses."
On the flip side, Rumpke officials say the expansion at the Colerain Township location is necessary to provide service for the Tri-State region and to keep customer cost down in the future.
"Landfills are regional facilities and the further you have to hull the trash, the greater the expense is on the customer," said Amanda Pratt, Rumpke's spokesperson. "So for all of our benefits it is important to have a facility in the greater Cincinnati region."
Pratt says the land near its current site is ideal for landfill disposal and the current landfill can still be used for 15 years.
"It's important for us to continue to work to find a solution that meets the needs of all involved," said Pratt.