Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

North Port Considers a Waste Way Station

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

North Port Considers a Waste Way Station

Article excerpt

GARBAGE: Dump would be just as temporary site, but that doesn't please some

NORTH PORT -- When a sanitation crew for the city of North Port finishes a route, they make the 48-mile round trip to the Sarasota County landfill or the 35-mile round trip to ReCommunity Recycling Co.'s South County transfer station -- even if their truck is not carrying a full load.

To cut back on gas and vehicle maintenance expenses, the city is considering creating a temporary disposal site within the city limits.

The proposed Solid Waste Transfer Station and Environmental Business Park could also include a re-use store, a glass recycler and other "green" businesses.

If garbage stored overnight there is compacted, the city could conceivably reduce how often it has to send trucks on the more than hourlong trip to and from the landfill.

The city is already getting plenty of feedback from residents, especially those who dislike the idea of what they think would essentially be a dump within the city limits.

"Would you have one of these in your backyard?" resident Tony Treadwell, who is organizing opposition to the proposal, said. "We have yet to meet anyone who wants this."

The North Port City Commission will discuss the idea Monday and could either drop it or tell its solid waste division to keep exploring it.

"Is there some benefit, cost savings -- if not now, then in the future?" said Branford Adumuah, the city's public works director -- noting that as North Port's population continues to grow so will the number of garbage truck trips needed to serve them. "You've got to look at everything and plan for the future. This is going to be a community decision."

A study that is under way to determine the potential costs and regulatory requirements is expected to be ready in April.

A preliminary report indicates that the facility could shave 2 or 3 percent off the $10.6 million the city spends annually on its waste management system.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "transfer stations generally become economically viable when the hauling distance to the disposal facility is greater than 15 to 20 miles. …

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