Ogden-Martin Systems will be allowed to burn 22 tons of mixed plastics, after Pasco County, Fla., commissioners settled a local brouhaha over what some considered a breach of protocol. Commissioners on Jan. 19 granted Ogden-Martin of Pasco County, near New Port Richey, Fla., permission to incinerate the waste, which consists of nonchlorinated, mixed plastics dust from the building ventilation system and floor sweepings of D.H. Compounding Inc. of Clinton, Tenn.
Also at the meeting, Commissioner Ed Collins apologized for statements he made that were quoted in the Tampa Tribune.
``I had said ... getting approval of the state before letting county commission know was like putting the cart before the horse. Just because the state issues a permit doesn't make it sacrosanct. We told [Ogden-Martin] to let us know first if they planned to do a burn. But yes, I apologized for the remark,'' he said.
Paul Whitmire, vice president of D.H. Compounding, said his firm had paid a $125 per-ton fee to burn the landfill-approved material in part to avoid the long-term liability that can come from using landfills.
Steve Bass, vice president of regional operations for Fairfield, N.J.-based Ogden-Martin, said the Pasco County facility burns about 65,000 tons of household plastic waste annually. Florida's Department of Environmental Protection approved the additional contract burn, he said.
Bass said Collins complained following a tip from a local activist who believed the firm was planning to burn the waste without county approval.