Zoning on Toledo mulch facility could come Tuesday

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The fight over a proposed mulch and composting business in Toledo heats up about 24 hours before Toledo city council could make a decision on it. The business may relocate from where the new I-475 Dorr Street interchange will be located.

The issue is at Byrne Road near Airport Highway. At one point this was the proposed new Lucas County jail site but that plan fell through. Now it could be a mulch and composting facility. That’s not getting rave reviews from neighbors either.

Conrad’s Car Wash sits next door to what could become the new home of Clean Wood recycling. The Conrad’s owner thinks that move will devastate her business.

“I would lose the business, I would lose the business,” said Charlene Conrad, the owner of Conrad’s Car Wash.

Conrad believes the smell and dirt from the facility would keep people away. She’s collected over 1000 signatures from people living nearby that don’t want Clean Wood to move in.

“It says a lot of people don’t want this here,” said Conrad.

“We’re a class 5 composting facility. That deals in organic matter only,” said Mike Kott, owner of Clean Wood Recycling.

Kott runs Clean Wood Recycling, which currently sits on Bancroft street near the 475-Dorr Street interchange. He says they do not take hazardous material, are regulated by the state and county health department and continually in compliance. This facility even has another car wash about an eighth of a mile away.

“Mother Nature does it every day. I just do it in a controlled environment and I speed up the process by turning the rows, adding air to the rows to make them decompose quicker,” said Kott.

Toledo city council will need to make the final call on zoning. The pieces of property owned by Kott need to be zoned industrial before he can relocate although he’s already done some work on the land. The city-county plan commission has already recommended approval.

“It’s leaves, it’s brush, it’s nature. Remember 95 percent of people put mulch around their house every year. The stuff I take from here I take to your house or someone else’s house and they spread it around their home so there are no toxins in it,” said Kott.

Monday a local social justice group raised concerns about this facility moving into a neighborhood with a high minority population, saying it is not appropriate.

“To have something like this that we know will directly affect the homes, the children and families that live in this community has to be on alert,” said Brother Washington Muhammed of the Community Solidarity Response Network.

13abc asked Kott about that Monday and he said he didn’t want to comment on that specific claim.

There are also several business owners on Marine Drive that run things like motorcycle shops and car repair facilities. They too are worried about the dirt and smell.

Kott says he invited neighbors to an open house to find out what his facility really does but that very few people showed up. He says he’d gladly let people see what he does.

Tuesday we see if council votes on that zoning or requests more time.

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