When they were created in the early 1990s, each of Ohio's new solid waste management districts was required to document the handling and disposition of all solid waste generated within its borders. In addition, they included their original plans for improving the system and for promoting recycling. Thus, the document came to be known as the "Solid Waste Management Plan".
These initial "Plans" were approved by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and ratified by local governments. Since then, it has been a primary responsibility of each District to maintain adequate annual statistical information on the subject and to update its plan every three years.
The word "Plan" only begins to describe this 300 plus page document. In addition to an introduction and an executive summary, it contains an inventory of all the places and organizations involved in the solid waste activity and the volume of that activity. Then it describes the District's programs and finances, and finally, its plans for the future.
The OEPA has stringent specifications as to form and content, and must officially approve each plan update. Then it must be ratified by a specific number of local governments, in accordance with a formula provided in the original statute.
The latest update to the Solid Waste Management Plan for Lorain County was ratified in late November 2007. Another update is therefore due in 2010.