Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Landfill material stirs questions

City worries it might go to waste


Toledo bought 30,000 tons of Nu-Soil for the Hoffman Road Landfill, but it has been using a spray for cover instead. Nu-Soil is made of dredge material, spent lime, and sewer-plant sludge.

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The city of Toledo was granted approval from the state to start using some of the 30,000 tons of dirtlike mixture stockpiled throughout 2012 at the Hoffman Road Landfill for daily cover at the dump, but that mountain of material could sit unused, officials said.

That mixture, which is called Nu-Soil and is produced by S&L Fertilizer Inc. of East Toledo, contains dredge material from Lake Erie and Maumee Bay, sludge from the city’s sewer plant, and spent lime from Toledo’s drinking water plant.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency sent the city a letter March 20 giving its blessing to use Nu-Soil as a cap at the end of each day at the landfill.

“The Ohio EPA ... has determined that the Nu-Soil has the properties to provide protection comparable to six inches of soil,” the letter from Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally said.

Ed Moore, Toledo’s public service director, said the 30,000 tons of Nu-Soil was hauled to the landfill by S&L last year under one of its contracts with the city.

Mr. Moore said he is unsure if the city will start using it because an alternative daily cover takes up less valuable landfill space.

“We have a spray that is really nice because it doesn’t occupy as much landfill space,” Mr. Moore said.

He said the city is awaiting one more authorization to use Nu-Soil for intermediate cover.

Councilman D. Michael Collins has taken issue with the city’s arrangement with S&L.

“We pay them to haul away sludge and the spent lime,” Mr. Collins said. “Who pays people to haul away raw materials out and then turns around and pays them to get the finished product back, and we are not even using it? We are paying over $1 million a year to haul spent lime, which they say they need.”

Mr. Collins added: “The city has not, nor will it in the future, ever use Nu-Soil for the purpose of daily cover. They are using an alternative that is similar to hyrdoseeding spray that is far more beneficial for airspace.”

Toledo has paid S&L Fertilizer $17.4 million since 1991 to haul away spent lime.

The firm takes the city’s sludge and spent lime to Facility 3, a man-made, diked-in area that juts into Maumee Bay chiefly owned by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. There, it mixes in dredge material, lets it sit, and then markets the end product.

Toledo City Council on Tuesday could vote to extend a six-month contract extension costing $950,000 with S&L and another firm, Stansley Inc., to haul away spent lime from its drinking water plant.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) has also gotten involved and is awaiting an answer to her request in January to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to examine the possible impact of depositing and storing the city’s sewage sludge at Facility 3. Steve Katich, Miss Kaptur’s chief of staff, said last week no response had been received.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: or 419-724-6171.

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