By Michelle Talsma Everson
Near 115th Avenue and Happy Valley Road, plans are underway to build a waste and recycling transfer station. The land that it is scheduled to be built on is currently marked for residential usage, which is putting local residents at odds with Republic Services, the company behind the station that seeks to re-zone the land as heavy industrial.
As of this writing (April 20, 2020), the plans are still under contract as Republic Services works through the preliminary stages with the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission.
According to Republic Services’ website about the project, HappyValleyTransfer.com, the “Happy Valley Recycling & Transfer Facility serves City of Peoria and Maricopa County as a mid-point for local municipal solid waste, transferring recyclables, green waste, construction and demolition waste from local garbage trucks onto larger tractor trailers that deliver consolidated material to recycling centers or landfills.”
The company affirms that the station will serve more than 80,000 residents and handle more than 40 tons of recyclables per day.
“The Happy Valley Recycling & Transfer Facility proposed for 115th Ave and Happy Valley Road will give the area much needed infrastructure, such as exists in North Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Chandler and numerous other areas throughout the Valley,” Republic Services says in a recent e-mail. “It’s a place where local garbage trucks will offload recyclables and trash in an indoor facility. The materials will then be hauled away to landfills and recycling centers. The facility is not a landfill. The Happy Valley Recycling & Transfer Facility is on five acres and the size of a Walgreen’s. It will help keep trash rates low for the area and help to preserve the great recycling program in Peoria.”
Several local community members, through an online petition and a Facebook group that has more than 2,400 members called “Happy Valley Says NO to a Waste Transfer Station,” are opposed to the project.
“We as a community understand the importance of this facility and what a recycling and waste transfer station does, but we do feel there are better places and that there are other locations where this could go that aren’t residential,” Vanessa Angell, a local resident and business owner, recently told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Angell and many other community members have started an online petition that encourages residents to sign and contact their elected officials to voice their opposition over the waste transfer station.
“Republic Services is trying to pull one over on residents near Happy Valley Road and 115th Avenue,” cites the online petition. “They cleverly call the facility a recycling transfer station but in reality it will be one truck every six minutes on a two-lane residential road during the day delivering recyclable garbage to a storage facility which may or may not be removed the same day.”
The community worries if the land is rezoned to “heavy industrial” it won’t end with the proposed waste and recycling transfer station, according to KTAR News 92.3 FM.