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Recycling Facility Siting Irks Neighbors

Third time may not be the charm for materials recycling plant.

 

A materials recovery facility, commonly known as a MRF, proposed for the east side of Sierra Highway between Golden Valley and Placerita Canyon Roads has some residents up in arms.

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Flyers were distributed in the neighborhoods surrounding Sierra Estates Drive in Newhall on Sunday claiming the facility would process 3,000 tons of waste on a daily basis, increasing the number of heavy duty trucks on Sierra Highway, attracting vermin and emitting the smell of garbage and diesel fuel.

Those receiving the flyers were encouraged to e-mail a group that calls itself Stop The Dump, but no phone number or name was included.

Travis Lange, environmental services manager for the city of Santa Clarita, said the flyers were correct in the siting of the proposed facility, but the amounts and types of materials were wrong.

“This is the third location proposed for the MRF in the city,” he said, noting that Burrtec applied for this siting in September 2007. “Originally the facility was planned for Springbrook Avenue in Newhall, but Burrtec could not get approval for the trucks to cross the railroad tracks. Then the second location was part of the Gates-King property, but that’s in litigation, so it wouldn’t work.”

Notices went out to the neighborhood traversed by Green Mountain Drive, which is beyond the 1,000-foot requirement for a MRF siting notification, prior to a Feb. 13 scoping meeting. Lange said about 20 residents attended that meeting.

Organizers of Stop The Dump stated on their flyer that the city’s notification went to a “selected” group of residents and did not extend far enough into the affected communities.

Lange said that much of the information on the flyer is incorrect, including the claim that 3,000 tons of mixed waste would be processed every day.

“The most important thing we want to get out to the public is that this is not a dump. It is definitely not a landfill, nothing will be placed on the soil itself or in the ground, and the facility is completely enclosed within a building.

“This is a recycling facility that separates materials from trucks that are already on the roads,” he continued. “Right now, the trucks are taking recycling and waste to several places; commercial waste is taken to Sun Valley, construction waste is taken to Los Angeles and greenwaste goes to our facility at the end of Lyons Avenue. Other items are taken to the AV Landfill or Chiquita Canyon.

“People also need to remember that this is just the first step in finding a place for the facility; consultants and experts are going to spend the next several months compiling studies for the environmental impact report, so we’ll have more meetings about this.”

For more information, residents are encouraged to call Darren Seegmiller of the city’s planning department (259-2489), who can answer questions about the process, including the location of similar “clean” recycling facilities in nearby cities.

Stop The Dump will hold a community meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Moose Lodge on Sierra Highway.