New Recycling Center to open soon
Next month Marion Utilities will open a new recycling drop-off center, which will replace our blue bag program. That being said, we want to take this opportunity to explain our reasoning behind the change.
The blue bag program is a “co-mingling” recycling program, where several kinds of recyclable materials are placed into one container – such as plastics, cardboard, and glass. Residents place all their recyclables in the blue bags and put them out with the rest of their trash. When the waste is dumped at the transfer station, our solid waste employees pull the blue bags out of the regular solid waste stream and take them to Republic Services, where we pay a high premium to have the recyclables processed. In the past, most of that material ended up being purchased by companies in China, where it was sorted and recycled. Being proper stewards of our environment is of utmost importance, and the benefit of having those materials recycled, rather than landfilled, outweighed the higher cost we were paying for processing.
However, in the last few years the recycling market has changed drastically. China has passed new laws and they are no longer buying co-mingled recyclables. Often times co-mingled recyclables are contaminated with food and other waste, which makes them difficult – if not impossible – to recycle. Here in the US, literally tons of co-mingled recyclables that were collected from residents are now being stored in warehouses or landfilled.
Unfortunately, we also discovered that many people were using the blue bags as trash bags, which makes the process even less effective.
Knowing that much of our recyclable material collections were contaminated and not being recycled properly, we were faced with a decision of what to do going forward. We want to offer a program where residents can be confident that the materials they are saving for recycling are not just going into a landfill. It also must be cost effective for ratepayers.
Our new recycling program accomplishes these goals. The Recycling Center here at MU will be open from 11 am to 6 pm on Mondays and Fridays, located at 1300 N. Washington Street. We have coordinated with the county’s operation on Garth Waite Road and will be open on the days they are closed, in an effort to give residents more options. Additional hours may be added in the future if there is enough demand. Also, there will be an attendant on duty to see that the items collected are clean and sorted properly.
We are also working with area neighborhood associations and churches to make sure that the elderly and disabled members of our community have the opportunity to participate if they choose to.
Here at Marion Utilities, we want to continue to be good stewards of our planet and offer cost-effective programs that meet the needs of our customers. If you have any questions about our recycling program, feel free to contact us at 765-664-2391.
What is Pretreatment?
The pretreatment program is the sewer system watch dog. The purpose of the program is to protect the collection system and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) workers, the treatment plant operations, and the Mississinewa River.
This is accomplished by making sure that no materials enter sewer system that will block the sewer system, generate harmful gases in the sewer system, limit the activity of the WWTP bacteria, cause WWTP equipment failure, pass through the WWTP to the river in toxic amounts, or restrict land application or our sludge.
What Can I Do to Help?
Individuals can help by scraping food waste and grease into the trash can or a compost bin, disposing of household hazardous waste and unused medications at recycling facilities, and tossing all wipes, rags, paper towels, and other trash in the trash can.
Industrial, commercial and other facilities can help by changing operations or activities to reduce the amount of waste sent to the WWTP, replacing harmful chemicals with less harmful options, and installing facility treatment system,s to reduce the concentration of chemicals being discharged.
How Does the Pretreatment Program Regulate Discharges?
Marion Utilities has a Sewer Use Ordinance, which outlines discharges that are acceptable or prohibited. Some of the prohibitions and limits are based on Federal regulations (40 CFR 403) and others are based on local conditions.
Marion Utilities monitors industrial facilities and other non-domestic dischargers by sampling their wastewater and inspecting their facilities. The samples collected are analyzed for the parameters addressed in our Sewer Use Ordinance and the Federal regulations. Should the limits of parameter be exceeded, the facility is notified and responsible for getting back into compliance.
OIL & GREASE PROGRAM
What is the problem with fats, oil, and grease?
The discharge of animal or vegetable fat, oil and grease (FOG) into the sanitary sewer has resulted in sewer line clogs, sewer lift station failures, and wastewater treatment plant problems. In response, Marion Utilities initiated a program to reduce the amount of oil and grease being discharged to the sewer system.
What can I do to reduce FOG in the sewer system?
Individuals can help by scraping all fat, oil, or grease from plates, pots, or pans into a plastic jar with a screw on lid and disposing with your trash. Fryer oil also needs to be put in a sealable container and disposed in the trash.
Restaurants and other food service establishments can install and maintain grease traps or interceptors. Marion Utilities’ Interceptor Maintenance guidance offers best management practices to minimize the amount of grease discharged to the grease interceptor or sewer.
How does Marion Utilities regulate FOG?
Marion Utilities’ Oil & Grease Introduction Program details our approach to managing the problems associated with FOG. The following guides detail grease interceptor or trap requirements: Interceptor Sizing & Design, Interceptor Maintenance, and Grease Trap Requirements.
Agricultural Lime Substitute Program
What hauled waste does Marion Utilities accept?
Marion Utilities accepts septic tank waste, holding tank waste, and portable toilet waste. Other waste may be accepted following testing and evaluation. Waste brought to Marion Utilities must be tracked on a Waste Hauler Discharge Form, stating the name and address of hauler, origin of the waste, type of waste, and volume of waste.
What do I need to do to dispose of waste?
Haulers wanting to dispose of residential type waste need to complete a Septic Hauler Discharge Permit Application and Domestic Septic Hauler Certification Statement and submit those along with their State License to:
1540 N Washington Street
Marion, IN 46952
How much does it cost to dispose of waste?
Residential waste is charged $75 per 1000 gallons. Commercial waste is charged $125 per 1000 gallons. Additional volumes are charged according to our Septic Hauler Rate Sheet.
METERED SEWER USE
Who is a sewer meter user?
A sewer meter user is a facility or community that meters their sewer discharge. When it is determined that the metered water used at a property does not accurately reflect the wastewater volume discharged, Marion Utilities may require or allow a user to install and maintain at his or her expense an approved metering device to directly measure the quantity of wastewater discharged to the sewer system. These meters shall be tested for accuracy at the expense of the user when deemed necessary by the Marion Utility Service Board.
What are the meter requirements?
Several metering options are available. The metering device shall be designed to measure the type of flow in the discharge line and shall be installed such that the device can accurately measure the flow volume. The accuracy of the metering device shall be confirmed by periodic calibration, redundant metering, or other means.
How is the sewer meter program regulated?
Users interested in or required to install a meter on their wastewater discharge line shall obtain and complete a Private Source Discharge Permit Application. The wastewater discharge and metering information shall be reviewed. Additional information or changes may be required. If approved, a Private Source Discharge Permit shall be issued. The discharge permit shall limit discharge parameters, specify metering and accuracy testing requirements, and address other applicable concerns.
CROSS CONNECTION CONTROL
Cross connection occurs when water in your supply line has the potential to flow backwards (through back-siphonage or changes in water pressure) creating a contamination risk. Backflow incidents can be significantly reduced or prevented by using the following tools for protection:
- Air gap – vertical air space between the water supply outlet and the flood level of the receiving device
- Reduced pressure principle backflow prevention devices (RPs)
- Double check backflow prevention devices (DCs)
- Pressure vacuum breakers (PVBs)
Instructions for proper installation and maintenance of these protection devices can be found in the Indiana Administrative Code 327 IAC 8-10.
Cross connections are prohibited by Marion Utilities’ Water Ordinance (see Rates & Ordinances). Individuals and facilities may be required to install devices on their main water, fire protection, or buried irrigation water service line and may be required to install an RP, DC, or PVB. Those devices must be tested every 12 months by a State of Indiana Certified Tester. The results must be recorded and kept on file with Marion Utilities.
How does wellhead protection prevent groundwater contamination?
Marion Utilities obtains water from groundwater wells located in three well fields within the City of Marion and Grant and Wabash Counties. Marion Utilities and representatives from the community established a Wellhead Protection plan to minimize the threat of groundwater contamination.
Contaminants in the groundwater can cause serious health problems, are costly to remove, and may persist for a long time. You can help prevent groundwater contamination by following the general prevention measures below.
What is Marion’s wellhead protection plan?
The wellhead protection plan has 4 components:
- Delineation of the Wellhead Protection area: identifying the area that needs to be protected.
- Creating a list of Potential Contaminant Sources: facilities that use or store chemicals that could be dangerous to the water supply within the delineated area.
- Establishing a Management Plan: the strategy to protect the groundwater from contamination.
- Setting up a Contingency Plan: emergency response procedures in the event of possible contamination or a natural disaster.
How can I help prevent groundwater contamination?
If you live or work within a wellhead protection area, you can help prevent groundwater contamination by following these general prevention measures:
- Properly dispose of harmful materials. Don’t dump them on the ground or put them down the drain.
- Minimize the amount of fertilizer and pesticides used on lawns and gardens.
- Properly maintain above ground or underground storage tanks.
- Check your property for unused or abandoned wells, cisterns or dry wells; then properly abandon them.
- Report illegal dumping.
- Agricultural Fertilizer
- Large-Scale Application of Pesticides
- Above Ground Storage Tanks
- Small Quantity Chemical Use
- Livestock & Poultry Waste
- Septic Systems
- Small-Scale Application of Pesticides
- Turfgrass & Garden Fertilizer
- Underground Storage Tanks
- Residential property owner in Grant County: take harmful materials to the Grant County Household Hazardous Waste collection site (call 677-6044 for hours or go to www.eciswd.org).
- Plug an abandoned well: contact the DNR or Purdue for well abandonment guidance documents.
- If you would like to view Marion Utilities Wellhead Protection Plan in its entirety, please contact the utility at 664-2391 ext. 128. Or view the 5-year time of travel wellhead protection area.
- Additional resources for Wellhead Protection Plans: EPA & IDEM.
Questions? Email our Water/Wastewater Division or call 765.664.2391, ext. 113.