Judge urges opposing lawyers to resolve landfill matter

<span id="bIImageViewer_CaptionTextID"> <span id="bIImageViewer_CaptionTextID">Toledo firefighters have been battling a blaze since shortly after 6 a.m. Friday at 4425 Creekside Ave.</span> </span>

Lawyers representing the Stickney Recycling plant in north Toledo argued before a Lucas County Judge that the plant be allowed to store waste on a temporary spot, while a new landfill is built.

A court order banned the recycling plant from accepting any new materials at its Creekside Avenue location after smoke and flames were spotted May 2 at the plant, which released asbestos and other hazardous material into the air.

The Lucas County Health Department subsequently issued alerts to the citizens in the block near the facility, but said the low levels posed no health threat.

The Ohio Attorney General opposes the plant from accepting collections from its new spot. Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Jennings made no rulings on Wednesday, but urged both sided to continue to negotiate an out of court settlement. She ordered both sides to participate in a conference call with her on May 28 to provide an update on the negotiations.

Michael Cyphert, an attorney who represents Stickney Recycling, said the fire has been contained.

"With respect to the fact that there is no fire danger at this site, all of the tests that have been done show it has been totally extinguished," Mr. Cyphert said.

A resident, Angie Gow, lives a few blocks away from the plant. "I'm pretty sure they are making sure it won't happen again," Ms. Gow said.

In a news conference days after the fire, Eric Zgodzinski, director of environmental health at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, said the plant has tallied up a number of violations in the past.

Assistant Attorney General Robert Eubanks argued for the state, stating there are legal issues regarding the plant's proposal to deposit waste in a temporary location.

"Another issue is whether the site will be able to place waste in a temporary pad area, that is not designed to accept waste," Eubanks said. "We believe this is the pre-eminent issue in the case and there is a question whether that's legal."

Attorney Cyphert said the present law supports the plant. "I totally disagree with Mr. Eubanks, temporary storage is totally excluded from regulation under the construction, demolition and debris statute," Mr. Cyphert said.