After hearing from neighbors and community leaders, Republic Services has decided not to pursue building a transfer facility near 115th Ave and Happy Valley Road. Instead, the Arizona-based company will work with the community to find a new location for this much-needed infrastructure, according to Republic Services.

Transfer facilities are common throughout Maricopa County. There are 32 such facilities serving the county. The Northwest Valley is the only part of the county lacking such infrastructure, which is critical to meeting recent and anticipated growth in the area.

Transfer facilities are indoor locations where recyclables and waste are transferred from collection vehicles to larger trucks for transport to recycling centers or landfills. They help reduce local truck traffic by alleviating the need for collection vehicles to travel longer distances. They also enable surrounding communities, businesses and residents to save on recycling and solid waste costs. These savings can help keep rates low as well as preserve local recycling programs, many of which are struggling today due to changing market conditions, Republic Services cites.

“Part of being a good neighbor means listening and responding whenever possible,” says Stephen Herring, municipal manager for Republic Services. “We appreciate the thoughtful community input and look forward to working together to still bring this needed infrastructure to the Northwest Valley.”

“To say the station is not opening is not really true. They just decided not to move forward with that location. They are still going to locate and try again on a parcel that is near the previous location. This is not over,” writes Vanessa Angell in the Facebook group “Happy Valley Says NO to a Waste Transfer Station, which has over 4,000 members. “The focus will be on where they ultimately decide and if it still affects our residential communities. If it is not zoned properly, and is not in a location that is best for all residents and our livelihoods, we will continue our opposition. I am hoping the applicant understands that and does right for the residents that have spoken loud and clear. Our opposition is to heavy industrial zoning. There is no scenario where that changes. There is a reason that zoning regulations exists. And there is a reason why heavy industrial zoning is not mixed in with residential.”

“With the withdrawal of the application for the waste transfer station, there will no longer be a zoning case to which Maricopa County can assign your public comment,” writes Cheryl Griemsmann, a land use planner at Gammage & Burnham, in a recent e-mail to inform locals that the Happy Valley waste transfer station was canceled.

“Please send your comments to me, including ideas for a new transfer station location, and I will work to address them.” Griemsmann can be reached at [email protected]