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Yost Secures $1.5 Million Settlement in Illegal Recycling Case


(GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio) — Baumann’s Recycling Center has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle an environmental lawsuit centered on an illegal landfill operated by the company for nearly a decade, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced today.

"I am committed to protecting Ohio’s environment from unlawful contamination," Yost said. "As an avid outdoorsman, I find it to be imperative that we leave a limited footprint for future generations."

Yost’s office filed a consent order this morning in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court outlining the agreement, which is subject to the approval of Judge Kelly Ann Gallagher.

The settlement would end a five-year legal battle with Baumann’s Recycling, based in Garfield Heights. The case originated in January 2019 when Yost sued the business for allegedly disposing of construction and demolition debris, open dumping solid waste and several violations of the state fire code.

The lawsuit stemmed from an investigation by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency indicating that the company was not properly recycling construction and demolition debris. Instead, it allegedly had been operating an unlicensed landfill for many years, illegally amassing nearly 200,000 cubic yards of waste and creating environmental and public-health hazards that threatened the surrounding communities.

Yost — representing the Ohio EPA, Cuyahoga County Board of Health and Garfield Heights Fire Department — secured a court order in June 2019 requiring Baumann's to immediately begin cleaning up the site, located at 4801 Chaincraft Road. The order imposed strict quotas on debris removal and measures to monitor fire hazards and air pollution.

Despite ongoing legal challenges by Baumann’s and contempt charges imposed against the company and its owner, Bill Baumann, Yost’s office continued to push for the cleanup work.  To date, more than 50,000 cubic yards of decomposing debris have been removed — significant progress that has reduced the imminent fire hazard and safeguarded the neighborhood.

The settlement agreement includes:

  • A civil penalty of $1.5 million, with opportunities to have that amount lowered based on compliance milestones – a structured approach that ensures accountability and incentivizes the company to perform a timely cleanup.
  • Provisions for processing remaining construction and demolition debris, removing legacy material, implementing fire-control measures, and assessing noncompliance penalties.

"This agreement underscores our commitment to upholding environmental standards and holding accountable those who jeopardize the well-being of our communities and residents," Yost said. "My office, along with our partners at Ohio EPA, will continue to monitor compliance to make sure that Baumann’s Recycling finishes the cleanup – completely and expediently."

Hannah Hundley: 614-906-9113


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