Solid Waste Regulations
‘Solid waste’ refers to unwanted material such as, garbage, scrap tires, combustible and noncombustible material, street dirt and debris, as results from industrial, commercial, agricultural, and community operations, and more. ‘Solid waste’ does not include earth or material from construction, mining, or demolition operations, or other waste materials of the type that normally would be included in demolition debris, nontoxic fly ash and bottom ash, including ash that results from the combustion of coal, biomass fuels, and ash that results from the combustion of coal in combination with scrap tires where scrap tires comprise not more than fifty percent of heat input in any month, spent nontoxic foundry sand, and slag and other substances that are not harmful or inimical to public health, and includes, but is not limited to, garbage, scrap tires, combustible and non-combustible material, street dirt, and debris. ‘Solid waste’ does not include any material that is an infectious or a hazardous waste.
Improper disposal of waste is more than just a nuisance to the eye. It can affect the health of the public and create a public health nuisance. Open dumping can contaminate the soil and water, create offensive odors, harbor disease, create safety hazards for children, attract wild animals, and serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other disease vectors.
Used motor oil or other automotive fluids may not be dumped on the ground, into a waterway, or into a storm sewer, and if this is done it is a violation of the county health nuisance regulation. Small amounts of fluid leaking from an automobile are not a violation. Unlabeled drums containing materials suspected of being hazardous should be left alone, and reported to the Ohio EPA.
Household hazardous waste may be disposed of with the regular trash, provided the waste hauler will accept it, but recycling is the preferred option.
Asbestos, radon, and mercury are not regulated by the Health District, but some information is provided below.
Asbestos is an incombustible, chemical–resistant, naturally occurring fibrous mineral which has been used to strengthen a variety of products, and provide fire resistance. Breathing airborne asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma over the long term (20 to 30 years), especially when combined with smoking. Older homes may have asbestos containing materials in them, particularly in ceiling tiles, floor tiles, and pipe insulation. Asbestos containing materials that are in good condition are best left alone. Damaged asbestos containing materials can be repaired by sealing or covering, or they can be removed. Removal should be a last resort.
Radon is a tasteless, odorless, radioactive gas which emanates from the ground, and may enter a home through cracks in the floor or foundation. Radon gas can collect and concentrate in the home. Radon levels and the risk of indoor exposure to radon can be reduced by sealing cracks and increasing ventilation in the home. Radon can be tested in the home with radon test kits available in hardware stores, or a state certified contractor can be hired to test for radon. Public Health does not provide radon test kits. Breathing radon gas can cause lung cancer over the long term, especially when combined with smoking, but there are no short term health effects.
Metallic mercury produces a large amount of mercury vapor when it is unconfined, or spilled. A mercury spill from a broken thermometer can contaminate an entire house if it’s tracked around, and isn’t cleaned up properly. Spilled metallic mercury will give off vapors for many years. Long-term exposure to high levels of mercury vapor, as well as other mercury compounds can cause irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys, or a developing fetus. Small mercury spills, such as from a residential thermostat switch or fever thermometer, can be cleaned up by the homeowner. Follow the steps for cleanup on the Ohio Department of Health website for “Small Mercury Spills”. Pregnant women and children should be evacuated from a mercury spill site immediately. If the mercury has already been vacuumed, tracked to other parts of the house, or the spill has otherwise been extended beyond the initial spill location call the Ohio EPA spill hotline. Schools should always call the Ohio EPA spill hotline, and a mercury clean-up contractor. Businesses in which a mercury spill has occurred must contact a hazardous waste recycling company to dispose of mercury-contaminated items. In order to reduce the risk of accidental exposure to metallic mercury, mercury thermometers and mercury switches should be replaced with mercury-free products. Thermometers and other items containing metallic mercury should be disposed of properly, and may be turned in at the Health District office.
Ways to Report Open Dumping
- Download and complete the form linked below or request a copy of the complaint form in person
- Return the completed and signed complaint form to our office