Ohio EPA Celebrating 40 Years

Waste Cleanup and Reduction
Hundreds of smelly, unsightly, rat-infested open dumps have closed in Ohio.


Through the 1970s, hazardous waste was often stored in drums outside, or just dumped and forgotten.

In 1980, a new federal law required hazardous waste to be carefully managed from “cradle to grave” -- or from generation to disposal.

When the hazardous waste program began, Ohio had 177 operating facilities that treated, stored and disposed of hazardous waste. Today, there are 34.

Newer technologies and waste reduction efforts helped reduce the need for so many hazardous waste facilities.

In addition, hundreds of sites where waste was dumped before environmental regulations existed have been cleaned up and put back into productive use.

Jan. 2013
The early days of waste management are best summed up with the phrase: Out of sight, out of mind.

When Ohio’s solid waste law was enacted in 1967, there were more than 1,300 smelly, unsightly, rat-infested open dumps in Ohio.

Since that law made them illegal, Ohio EPA and local health departments systematically closed down these polluting dumps.

In their place, Ohio now has 40 licensed, highly engineered landfills with liners to protect ground water, advanced systems to monitor ground water and leachate, and 30 years of required care after closure.

A much greater emphasis is placed on waste reduction and recycling.

More than 3.5 million tons of residential and commercial waste were recycled in Ohio in 2010.

The outstanding legacy of public service, professionalism and scientific understanding that typifies Ohio EPA’s roots is still prevalent today.

40 years and moving forward.