Leadership and Stability
In 1949, Robert C. Ross founded one of the first hazardous waste management companies in the nation. He began Robert Ross Industrial Disposal because he saw an opportunity to meet the hazardous waste management needs of companies in northern Ohio. In 1958, this industry pioneer built one of the first hazardous waste incinerators in the country.
Today, Robert Ross' entrepreneurial spirit and desire to meet the needs of customers lives on. Ross Environmental Services, Inc. and its related companies, Ross Incineration Services, Inc. and Ross Transportation Services, Inc., work to solve environmental problems for their customers. The companies provide a wide range of reliable environmental management services to industry.
Our longevity has been built upon a stable base that includes committed ownership, a strong balance sheet and innovative, experienced associates. Today, Ross Environmental and its related companies continue to be closely and privately owned by shareholders directly descended from its founder. In an industry where ownership and stability are issues of concern for many companies, the Ross companies have remained a solid and reliable provider of environmental services.
Ross Environmental Services is based in its Business Center at the Great Lakes Technology Park across from the campus of Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio. Its related companies, Ross Incineration Services and Ross Transportation Services are located in Eaton Township, Ohio in a rural area approximately 30 miles southwest of Cleveland.
Combined, the companies have approximately 230 associates who have hundreds of years of experience in the environmental services industry.
Ross Environmental Services and its affiliated companies are woman-owned businesses. In January, 2001, Maureen Ross Cromling and her husband, William Cromling II, assumed full ownership of the companies.
With more than 40 years of experience in all phases of the business, Maureen is Chairwoman of the Ross companies. She has been honored for her community commitment and business expertise by a number of publications and organizations including Crain's Cleveland Business which named her as a "Woman of Influence" in Northeastern Ohio.
Maureen is recognized as a pioneer in the hazardous waste management industry. On January 16, 2002, Maureen was honored by the Environmental Technology Council (ETC) with their prestigious national Industry Award. The award was presented in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act, the nation's preeminent solid waste law.
On September 25, 2002, Maureen received the prestigious Governor's Award for Excellence in Enterprise for the Manufacturing/Technology sector from Robert Taft, then Governor of the State of Ohio.
She has also been honored for community involvement by a number of organizations. During 2005, Leadership Lorain County presented her with the Distinguished Leadership Award for her involvement in Northeastern Ohio. Also during 2005 (and again in 2006 and 2007), Inside Business Magazine named her to their "Power 100" listing of the 100 most influential people in Northeastern Ohio. In May, 2008, she was honored by the Midview Local School District and inducted into the school district's "Make A Difference" Hall of Honor.
During September, 2008, she received the Industry Leadership Award from EI Digest at their national hazardous waste conference. During June, 2009, she was honored by the Ohio Environmental Service Industries with their Outstanding Service Award.
Ross Environmental Services, Inc. has been a pioneer in hazardous and industrial waste management for more than 60 years. The company is lead by an experienced and highly qualified leadership team.
Maureen M. Cromling, Chairman of the Board
Maureen (Ross) Cromling is Chairman of the Board of Directors. She provides executive management oversight to the corporation and sets the vision, strategic direction and financial objectives for the company. She also represents the Ross companies to the industry, community, financial institutions, customers and other key constituents. Maureen is a founding member of the Ohio Environmental Industries Association, a statewide association of corporations who manage or generate wastes. She has served as chair and is a member of the Environmental Technology Council, a national organization based in Washington D.C. Maureen currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lorain County Community College Foundation and is a former member of the Board of Team NEO, which focuses on economic development issues in Northeastern Ohio. She has served on governing boards of a number of local organizations. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her civic involvement and industry/business leadership. The most recent include the Midview Schools Hall of Honor (2008), EI Digest Environmental Leadership Award (2008) and Leadership Lorain County Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award (2005). During 2002, she was presented with the prestigious Industry Award by the Environmental Technology Council in Washington D.C.
Arthur Hargate, President & CEO, RES
Art Hargate joined the Ross companies in 1989 and has since held positions in the areas of business development, government affairs, finance/accounting and special projects. He has more than 30 years of experience in the hazardous waste management, solvent recycling and chemical distribution industries. He held the position of Executive Vice President of Finance, Strategy and Business Development prior to assuming the role of President and CEO of Ross Environmental Services in March, 2007. In this role, he is responsible for the strategic, operational and financial performance of Ross Environmental Services, Inc. and its affiliated companies (Ross Incineration Services, Inc. and Ross Transportation Services, Inc.) Art is past chair of the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce Environmental Council and sits on the Board of Goodwill Industries of Lorain County. He studied journalism at Boston University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
William E.Cromling III, President, RTS
Bill Cromling III grew up with Ross Transportation Services, Inc. A local graduate, he spent several years in the United States Army, serving in Germany, prior to joining Ross Transportation in 1992. He joined the company as a mechanic and later held positions in maintenance and operations. After several years of experience with increasing responsibilities, Bill became President of Ross Transportation Services, Inc. in March, 2007. Bill is a member of the National Private Truck Council. He is certified under the Certified Transportation Professional program. He is also a graduate of Leadership Lorain County and is active in local community organizations.
James Larson, President, RIS and COO, RES
Jim has been with Ross Incineration since 1989. Prior to his current position, Jim served as Research & Development Manager, Incineration Manager and Vice President of Operations for RIS. As Vice President of Operations, Jim's responsibilities involved overseeing plant operations including daily production, safety and environmental compliance. His current responsibilities include continuous process optimization including Research and Development in support of process optimization, RIS physical facilities and capital spending. Jim is a graduate of Leadership Lorain County, a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and a former member of the Environmental Council sponsored by the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Prior to joining Ross, Jim worked in the areas of chemical engineering, water and wastewater treatment, air pollution control, electrochemical engineering, sales and process engineering.
Gary Vidmer, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, RES
Gary Vidmer is Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Ross Environmental Services, Inc. and has been with Ross Environmental since June of 2006. As Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Gary is responsible for the overall direction and management of the Ross companies' sales and marketing functions. He oversees sales and marketing efforts in six territories in the Central and Eastern United States, as well as, the National Account Program. Originally from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Gary received his bachelor's degree in Economics from Bucknell University and studied financial analysis and marketing at the University of Michigan. He has over 25 years of sales, management, and marketing experience within the chemical manufacturing and hazardous waste management industries.
Patricia Lawson, Vice President, Corporate Compliance and Risk Management, RES
Pat Lawson is Vice President of Administration for Ross Environmental Services, Inc. and has been with Ross Environmental since 1992. In her position, Pat is responsible for the overall direction and management of the Ross companies' Corporate Environmental, Health and Safety, Security, Risk/Contract Management, Corporate Legal Affairs, Human Resources, and Corporate Communications groups. Pat received her bachelor's degree in Public Relations from The Ohio State University. She has more than 20 years of experience in the hazardous waste management industry. She is a graduate of Leadership Lorain County and is active with her daughter's equestrian activities.
Jon Cromling, Vice President of Strategic Land & Business Development, RES
Jon Cromling is Vice President of Strategic Land & Business Development for Ross Environmental Services, Inc. A local graduate, Jon spent several years in the U.S. Army prior to joining the Ross companies. He joined Ross Transportation Services, Inc. in 1977 where he held positions in maintenance and operations. Jon was previously the Director of Strategic Land & Business Development for RES. He is active in the Eaton Township Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee.
Steve Goldman, Vice President of Technology, RES
Steve Goldman is Vice President of Technology for Ross Environmental Services, Inc. and has been with Ross companies since 1997. As V.P. of Technology, Steve is responsible for all aspects of information technology and engineering at the companies. Steve received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1985. He has been working in the hazardous waste management and air pollution control industry for his entire career. Steve was formerly a Registered Professional Engineer in Georgia and Utah. He is devoted to his family and is active in his local church.
Darrell Zielinski, Vice President of Business Development, RES
Darrell Zielinski is the Vice President of Business Development at Ross Environmental Services, Inc. Darrell has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton. He has held various positions involving engineering, operations business development and general management before coming to RES in 2013. Darrell makes his home in Strongsville, Ohio with his two daughters and wife Becky. Darrell enjoys spending time with his family including his daughters' school, dance and Girl Scout functions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who are the Ross companies?
The Ross group of companies; Ross Environmental Services, Inc., Ross Incineration Services, Inc. and Ross Transportation Services, Inc. The companies have been located in Lorain County, Ohio for more than 60 years. Combined, the companies have about 230 associates. Ross Incineration and Ross Transportation are based in Eaton Township while Ross Environmental is located in its Business Center in Elyria.
Ross Incineration specializes in the destruction, by incineration, of industrial waste materials. Ross Transportation provides transportation services to industry. Ross Environmental provides sales, marketing, community relations, human resources, technical services, purchasing, information services and regulatory assistance to the other Ross companies and to customers.
- What types of waste do you handle? Are they dangerous?
Ross Incineration incinerates many different types of industrial wastes. The majority are paints, petroleum products and used or off-spec household chemicals like cleaners, hair mousse, automotive chemicals and even suntan lotion. Only wastes deemed appropriate for incineration by the Environmental Protection Agency are treated by Ross Incineration.
Ross Incineration recognizes that some of the materials received for storage and incineration can be hazardous to human health and the environment. Associates are thoroughly trained in the safe handling of waste. Procedures are established to ensure the safe handling of materials from their receipt through incineration. The incinerator is designed with the latest and best safety features. The company is continuously upgrading the system to incorporate the best technology currently available.
- What materials are not accepted at Ross Incineration?
The facility operating permits issued by the United States and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies (U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA) specifically list those materials that can be accepted for incineration. Ross Incineration does not accept nuclear waste, wastes with high concentrations of PCBs, or dioxins. Only materials which can be effectively treated by incineration are accepted.
- Is incineration really a good way to dispose of waste?
Incineration is one of the best methods for waste disposal. In fact, in regulations established by the U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA, treatment by incineration is required for many different types of waste that cannot be recycled or reused.
- How does incineration work?
Waste materials and air are fed into the incinerator where they are burned at a very high temperature. The typical operating temperature of the incinerator is around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The intense heat causes the organic compounds in the waste to chemically break down into simple compounds, in effect, destroying the hazardous characteristics of the wastes. When waste materials are incinerated, approximately 90% to 95% of the waste volume is destroyed. This means that only 5% to 10% of the waste (ash) goes to a landfill. In light of the crisis in landfill space we are currently facing, this is a substantial benefit.
- What do you do with the ash?
Ash from the incinerator is classified as a hazardous waste by the EPA because it contains heavy metals like cadmium and lead. The ash is chemically solidified to bind the metals into a concrete-like substance and is then disposed of at a hazardous waste landfill.
- What comes out of your stack?
In some ways, the incinerator is like your home fireplace. When you burn something, the fire creates ash and smoke. The incinerator does the same thing, producing ash and combustion gases. These combustion gases are treated in a state-of-the-art air pollution control system where they are neutralized, cooled and scrubbed to remove particulate and acid gases. Emissions from the stack must meet very stringent EPA standards established for companies that treat waste by incineration. These standards, called the Maximum Achievable Control Technology standards, are the most stringent emission standards in the country. During 2002, Ross Incineration completely replaced its air pollution control system to ensure that the company is using the latest technology and remains in compliance with the stringent EPA emissions standards.
As a result of this extensive air pollution control system, what you see coming out of the stack is primarily steam. It contains water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and minute amounts of particulate.
- Do you monitor air emissions?
Ross Incineration uses a continuous emission monitoring system to track and record air emissions from the stack. The Ohio EPA has access to this information. Ross Incineration performs audits of its air emission monitoring equipment to ensure that the instruments are working properly. In addition, a computer control system monitors the incineration system to be certain that it is properly operating. This system provides for the automatic shutdown of the incinerator in the event any of the key operating conditions are out of specification. The company also performs air emission performance tests on a regularly scheduled basis to verify compliance with EPA standards. Ross Incineration has an outstanding operating record and a state-of-the-art system. The company cares about the environment and is continuously upgrading the system so that it can be made even more efficient and effective in preventing pollution.
- Do your operations have an impact on groundwater?
Ross Incineration does not pollute the water. Great care is taken to make sure that no hazardous chemicals can reach the groundwater. First, wastes are stored in closed tanks and containers in specially designed storage areas. There are containment and collection devices in the storage, handling and incineration areas. These are inspected daily and associates are trained to prevent problems. Also, the groundwater is sampled and tested to verify that the facility is not polluting the groundwater in the area. RIS has a system of 67 groundwater monitoring wells, 20 of which are sampled twice a year. These wells were selected for sampling as part of an EPA-approved monitoring program. To date, there has been no indication of groundwater contamination at the facility. In addition, RIS is a zero discharge facility, meaning that there are no discharges of process water or stormwater from the facility. The company has a water management system that collects rainwater on-site and reuses it.
- What if there was a spill or an accident? What would you do?
Although our associates are trained in the safe handling of waste and the facility has been designed with all of the latest safety features, Ross Incineration must be prepared to respond to an accident. Ross Incineration associates receive extensive training in emergency response procedures and the company maintains emergency response equipment at the facility at all times. Mock drills are conducted to practice emergency response procedures. In addition, members of the Eaton Township Fire Department and Lorain County Emergency Management Agency take tours of the facility in order to maintain a working knowledge of the area. Several associates of the Ross companies are members of the fire department staff. The Eaton Township Fire Department is also the local response center for the Lorain County Haz Mat Team.
- What does Ross Transportation do to prevent accidents?
If you have seen Ross Transportation trucks on the road, you have noticed that they are clean, well-equipped and well maintained. The appearance of this fleet reflects the quality of the entire program at Ross Transportation Services. Only the best, most experienced drivers are hired. They receive extensive training in spill prevention and control, fire prevention and emergency response procedures. Each truck is outfitted with spill containment, fire fighting and emergency communication equipment. Mechanics maintain the trucks in top operating condition at all times. All of these precautions are working. As a result, Ross Transportation drivers have travelledmillions of safe-driving miles.
- What government agencies monitor your operations?
Ross Incineration is regulated by multiple federal and state authorities with overlapping environmental, health and safety responsibilities. These include the United States and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA), the United States Department of Transportation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These agencies have the right to enter and inspect the facility at any time. Ohio EPA has primary oversight of the facility's hazardous waste activities. Typically, routine inspections are handled by the Ohio EPA's Division of Hazardous Waste Management, which has assigned one full-time inspector to the site. The Ohio EPA has an office on the company's premises and an inspector visits the facility two to three days per week. In addition, Ross Incineration has put electronic systems in place to enable the inspectors to monitor facility operating parameters 24 hours a day. They can use these computerized systems from their office at the Ross Incineration facility or from the Ohio EPA offices in Twinsburg.
- How do you know what wastes you are receiving?
Before any waste can be sent to Ross Incineration, customers must complete a Waste Product Survey (WPS) form which describes the chemical composition of their waste. Upon arrival at Ross Incineration, the waste is visually inspected. Then, the on-site laboratory tests the material to be certain that it is consistent with the WPS form. Processing and handling instructions are written for each load of wastes before they are received. This ensures that the waste is handled safely every step of the way from transportation through storage and incineration.
- How do you keep track of the waste at the plant?
A computerized tracking system is used to monitor all wastes received at the facility. As part of this tracking system, all drums received at the plant are bar coded. This is similar to the bar coding used at grocery stores to keep track of their inventory. Computerized controls monitor the levels of all storage tanks on a continual basis.
- What if the computerized system fails?
There are several back-up systems built into the computer that would automatically operate if the computer system would fail. In addition, we keep track of the waste manually as a back-up procedure.
- Why is Ross Incineration located in Eaton Township?
The Ross companies were founded by Robert and Ada May Ross more than 60 years ago at the same site on Giles Road. This property had been in their family for many years. Today, the companies are owned and operated by Maureen (Ross) Cromling and her husband Bill. They grew up in this community and have a strong commitment to Eaton Township and Lorain County. They have made a significant financial investment to continually improve the facility and will continue to invest not only in new technology but also in their associates and the community as well.
- Who are your customers?
Our customers are nationally and locally known producers of consumer and industrial products. Many are located within a 500 mile radius of the Ross Incineration facility. Our customers produce: plastics, paints, automotive, pharmaceuticals, adhesives & sealants, photographic, petroleum, lawn & garden care and cosmetics. Many of them are household names. In addition, we work with environmental remediation companies that clean up government and industrial sites; waste brokering firms; recycling companies; hospitals and universities.
- I heard you made changes at your facility. Did you expand?
At the Ross companies, we are committed to using the best available technology in all of our operations. We are committed to protecting our associates, our community and our environment. So we continuously make upgrades to the Ross Incineration facility, to Ross Transportation vehicles and to our business centers.
During 2002, the company reinvested $11 million in new technology at the Ross Incineration facility when we replaced the air pollution control system and the main combustion chamber. This did not affect the amount of waste that Ross Incineration is permitted to accept at its facility. Improving the incineration system enables the company to keep pace with changes in the hazardous waste marketplace and to continue to comply with stringent EPA standards.
During 2003, we opened the Ross Environmental Services Business Center at the Great Lakes Technology Park on the campus of Lorain County Community College in Elyria, OH. This new facility incorporated the newest technology into our office operations so that we can continue to meet the needs of our customers.
- Have the Ross companies increased security since the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks?
Safety and security have always been important issues for the Ross companies and, like many companies, the 9-11-2001 tragedy caused us to re-evaluate our security measures and to implement new measures.
Ross Transportation drivers have received highway watch training from the State Highway Patrol and now report suspicious activities on the roadways. All trailers are padlocked and tanker loads sealed while on the road and during layovers.
Ross Incineration has registered with the FBI for alerts on all terrorist threats. All deliveries to the facility must be scheduled in advance and all visitors must show identification to gain facility access. The company has sent out special communications to its customers regarding security. The facility is surrounded by a six foot chain link fence topped with barbed wire to discourage unauthorized site entry. Entry gates are electronically monitored 24-hours a day, 365 days a year by security guards.
At the offices, doors are locked and visitors are identified through an intercom before being allowed entry into the building. Finally, the Ross companies provide training, drills and guidance for associates, contractors, service providers, suppliers and others to enhance security awareness and response capabilities.
- Can community members tour your facilities?
Yes, members of the community are welcome to take tours of the plant and offices. Presentations are also given to community groups and organizations about the Ross companies. Tours and presentations can be scheduled through the Ross Environmental Community Relations Department. Click here for more details.
Our Mission Statement
To safely and profitably serve our customers by providing the incineration, transportation, treatment and related services required to meet their environmental management needs and protect our environment.
To provide high quality environmental management services that meet the needs of our customers.
To provide a safe, rewarding workplace for our associates and to maintain Ross as an Employer of Choice in Northeastern Ohio.
To positively contribute to the quality of life in our community through our actions and the example we set.
To be a sustainable organization committed to the triple bottom line of positive economic, environmental and social impacts which are essential for a healthy business, community and environment now and in the future.
This will be accomplished by applying the principles of continuous improvement in determining what we do and how we do it.
Nothing is more important than the SAFETY of our people.
Dedication to the customer.
Respect for the dignity, rights and contributions of each associate.
Mutually beneficial supplier relationships.
Active participation in and communication with the community.
Commitment to integrity and high ethical standards.
Our actions will be consistent with our values.