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Neighbors Love Sansai E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 02 July 2007
Neighbors Love Sansai

Neighbors Love Sansai: Murmurs Become a Roar in Cleveland

By Marlene Switzer

Freelance Writer

Cleveland, Ohio

Neighbors Sound Off for Sansai

Around the corner from Cleveland Carburetor, Cleveland Crystals and large silo-looking buildings, the industrial neighborhood of Nottingham turns residential - all except for an eighteen-acre building on thirty-two acres of land making up the corner of East 185th Street and Cochran Road. Against its red brick and grey exterior are green marbled signs reading “The Richard Melvin Building” in gold letters.

Inside, Sansai Environmental Technologies, LLC is working diligently to help keep our natural world in balance with nature. Within their space reside large silver frameworks encasing what appears to be wooden spaceships lying on their sides. They are In-Vessel Digesters. What are they digesting? They have been manufactured to marinate food for earthworms, and they slowly revolve to heat up the inside material.  The digester rids the contents of any possible pathogens or weed seeds leftover from the produce, newsprint or lawn clippings. Then inside continuous-flow processors, earthworm beds are sprayed with the marinade in which earthworms (eisenia fetida) feast peacefully, night and day, while overhead speakers play symbiotic music.

Not exactly a filthy, odor-producing haven for rodents that some misinformed people first believed. “When I first heard about this company, it was in a negative context,” said former Collinwood resident Pamela McVay, a historian teaching at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  She said, “A lot of inaccurate information was floating through the neighborhood rumor mills.”

Rather, Sansai’s owner and CEO, Jamie Melvin, not only made sure his process was safe and suitable for a residential environment, he also cleaned up the hazards that the former property owner left behind.  Jeffrey B.Tierce, Director of the Cuyahoga Environmental Council, a non-profit educational organization in operation since 1979, said, “Sansai has invested considerable time and effort developing the process (of manufacturing earthworm castings) after acquiring and cleaning up the property… initially creating 50 jobs.”

Mr. Melvin went the extra mile and opened Sansai’s doors and lines of communication to the community. “During a tour of the plant, the specific concerns (traffic, odor, environmental contamination) were addressed,” said university historian McVay.

Following these community good will efforts, neighbors rolled out the “Welcome” mat to Sansai.

Joe Bucilli, a local resident said, “I believe that this company would be an asset to the city of Cleveland and to my neighborhood.”

“Nottingham and Collinwood neighborhoods deserve a chance to enter into a cooperative dialogue with the environmentally sustainable initiative at the old TRW plant,” said Dennis Morgan, employment director with Catholic Charities, together with his wife, environmental engineer, Ana Morgan.

President of the Nottingham Civic Club, Bruce Hoppe, who lives close to the Sansai facility, stated, “I am really happy to have this company operating their soil manufacturing facility next door to the home I have owned and lived in for 20 years.”

“Sansai is a good fit for the site. . .and will have a much lower impact on the neighborhood than the previous user, TRW,” stated Steven L. Wright, a local expert on the transportation aspects of commercial projects with Wright & Associates Logistics, LLC.

“This enterprise brings jobs, clean methods, and 21st century problem-solving to Cleveland. It is the outcome of toilsome and well-informed preparation,” said Sheila Friedman, a nearby resident applauding Sansai.

Perhaps the best endorsement that Sansai could have hoped for came from Ryan McKenzie of Eco-City Cleveland, a nonprofit organization who promotes sensitive development that preserves open space and ecological integrity in Northeast Ohio. “EcoCity Cleveland advocates for designing cities in balance with nature.  I’ve toured the site and understand their process and am convinced that Sansai Environmental offers a technology and product that can bring us towards that goal. We are excited to see the chance for Cleveland to take a prominent place on the national stage of green issues,” exclaimed McKenzie.

 

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 July 2007 )
 
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