March 18--A scroll through the newly created Facebook page "Stop the Yuba City Dump" turns up comments from outraged residents.
That concern comes from remarks made by David Kuhnen, general manager for Recycling Industries, on Epley Drive in south Yuba City, at last week's City Council meeting.
The council was considering comparisons between the leading contenders for the city's solid waste collection contract -- Recology and Republic Services.
Kuhnen said he's completed the application process for the expansion of the existing transfer station, and that he plans for it to be ready to go by January 2019. He also believes the expansion should be considered as part of the current solid waste collection negotiations between the city and Recology and Republic Services.
There is a big difference between a "dump" and a "transfer station," said Dave Vaughn, vice president and senior director of business and marketing for Recology.
"A transfer station is where people drop off material, it's reloaded, and sent off to another location," Vaughn said Friday. "A landfill, AKA a dump, is a place where materials are delivered to and buried."
The "dump" Recology currently uses is the Ostrom Road Landfill in Wheatland, he said.
While Recyling Industries' application to expand its transfer station doesn't directly concern Recology, Vaughn said, Yuba City has the flow control rights, meaning if the city directed the company winning the solid waste contract to utilize the Recyling Industries' transfer station, it would.
"From a cost-effective standpoint, it's probably not very likely. But it's a possibility," Vaughn said. "It would be the city's direction."
According to Kuhnen's application to the city, Recycling Industries aims to increase its footprint from 3 to 4 acres; increase a new building size from 18,000 square feet to 21,000 square feet; add or modify driveway accesses; increase on-site parking; and enhance landscaping features. Fugitive dust, litter and odors would be mitigated through engineering controls and operational controls in accord with state standards, according to the application.
That application was submitted Sept. 18 and is still in process.
Kuhnen said Friday that his company is currently permitted to accept up to 100 tons of garbage per day. The expansion would increase that to up to 300 tons per day. He echoed Vaughn's statement that there is a big difference between a transfer station and a landfill. He said his company has a transfer station.
He also noted that Recycling Industries is on the leading edge of environmental conscientiousness, and he's skeptical of the "Stop the Dump" campaign, which has an official website, lawn signs and a petition.
"I think the overriding problem I have with the whole thing is that no one appears to be taking responsibility for this Stop the Dump campaign," Kuhnen said. "I don't think those are things (the website and signs) people would voluntarily do for free."
He said he suspects the page is being run by a competitor and called it "scare tactics."
"There's something deeper going on that I don't think is really out of concern for the environment," he said.
Darin Gale, economic growth and public affairs official for Yuba City, said the application still has to go through an environmental review, will be considered by the Planning Commission, and public meetings will be held. Because it's an application for a use permit, it would not be required to go before the City Council; however, the application can be contested and challenged for council consideration, he said.
"The city has not taken a stance one way or another as it relates to this project," Gale said Friday.
Councilman Stan Cleveland said the proposed transfer station expansion is like any other business application that will go through the city permitting process and will go through public review. He also said it could go through mitigation for concerns like odors and traffic control.
"The public will have a say on what their concerns are," Cleveland said Friday.
A message to the "Stop the Dump" Facebook page went unreturned Friday.
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