Resident group celebrates victory.
There will be no Materials Recovery Facility off of Sierra Highway. Plans for the proposed project that drew such ire from nearby residents have been officially abandoned by Burrtec Waste Industries. The decision reportedly came after a meeting was held between Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar, City Manager Ken Pulskamp, and Cole Burr, President of Burrtec.
The facility’s purpose is to sort through all of the garbage produced by Santa Clarita, separating recyclables from landfill-bound trash.
Burrtec had applied for the site, which sits off of Sierra Highway near Golden Valley Road, in September of 2007. Residents in the neighborhoods close to the site were quick to complain about some of the potential problems the facility would produce, which included a high number of truck trips on Sierra Highway, the unpleasant smell, and fears of diminishing home values.
The residents organized behind a group called “Stop The Dump” and showed up in force to two City Council meetings to demand that the City stop the facility from being established on that particular property. During the first meeting, the City informed the crowd that they had a legal requirement to give Burrtec its due process, noting that an Environmental Impact Report on the site hadn’t yet been prepared.
After headlines detailing the residents’ outrage swept across the valley, Burrtec announced that they would suspend the project while they looked in into alternatives. Not content with a suspension of the project, the resident group again showed up at the March 25th meeting to demand that Burrtec kill the project for good. So today’s announcement by Burrtec that will be good news for the residents who fought against it.
This will be Burrtec’s fourth search for a new site. The first site was on Springbrook Avenue, but failed because Burrtec couldn’t secure permits that would allow that number of garbage trucks to cross the railroad tracks. Another site was also proposed on the Gates-King property, but litigation regarding that land made it unrealistic for Burrtec to continue to pursue that location.
It is important to note that even the opponents of the MRF were not directly opposing the facility, but merely the location. A MRF has long been considered a necessity for Santa Clarita.
Burrtec has been the City’s commercial waste hauler since August 2004 and has a contract to provide waste and recycling collection services to businesses in the City through June 2013. As part of the contract, Burrtec is required to develop and operate a MRF to process the City’s recyclables.