Asbury Park Press
FREEHOLD – Howell residents are fighting a plan to allow construction debris to be trucked in and out of a new facility in their neighborhood.
The neighbors say they’ve gotten scant information about a plan that would allow Resource Engineering LLC to build a solid waste transfer station on its property at 34 Randolph Road near the boundary with Lakewood.
Resource Engineering already operates a “Class B” recycling facility on the 10.4-acre property, which allows it to receive, store and process tree stumps, untreated wood and brush. It can collect 220 tons of material a day.
The proposed transfer station would accept between 1,200 to 1,500 tons of bulky waste, like appliances and furniture, as well as construction and demolition debris. That material would be processed in a 25,000-square-foot building that would be constructed on the site.
But neighbors said they are worried that if construction debris was accepted, it would lead to the processing of other garbage.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions here,” said Stephen Reid, an attorney who represents a competing recycling company and who was establishing contact lists with additional neighbors.
Monmouth County freeholders were scheduled to have a mandatory public hearing Thursday on the proposal to add the waste transfer station to the county’s solid waste management plan but postponed it.
County Administrator Teri O’Connor said the county received new information that made the application incomplete and referred it back to the county’s Solid Waste Advisory Council.
Howell Township Administrator Jeff Mayfield sent Monmouth County letters in March and May saying the township would support the transfer station if improvements were made to Randolph Road, including widening the road, adding curbs adding a traffic light at Route 547.
Yet, a day before the public hearing, Howell Mayor Theresa Berger sent a letter to the county saying she could not support the project.
In the letter, Berger said those traffic improvements amounted to a “patchwork approach” that would do little to alleviate traffic concerns and nothing to address smog and noise.
Berger, who was out of the country, said in an interview with the Asbury Park Press that she did not think a solid waste transfer station was the right type of development for Howell. Watch the video above for questions that linger because of the development boom in nearby Lakewood.
“I don’t think it’s the best thing for Howell. Who wants to look in their backyards and see garbage from other towns?” she said.
Berger said she did vote for the project when it was before Howell’s Planning Board, but said that she was handcuffed because the project technically meets the township’s master plan.
“It does not meet my expectations personally for Howell,” she said.
There were a host of other Howell residents as well as lawyers for competing recycling companies that opposed the plan.
Nina Rjedkin lives on Alexandria Avenue and worries that increased truck traffic from a transfer station would exacerbate the traffic she already faces. She estimated that her travel time to work would triple if the county allows the transfer station.
“It’s going to be a nightmare.”
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