HALFMOON, N.Y. — The Planning Board Monday unanimously approved site plans for a residential household refuse transfer station to be built at 12 Tabor Road.
The business will allow trucks from Twin Bridges Waste and Recycling to off-load residential garbage on a daily basis at the site. The company and the transfer station are owned by local developer Scott Earl, the former owner of County Waste and Recycling.
The 7-acre Tabor Road site is at the west end of Tabor Road near the intersection with Ushers Road and zoned Light-Industrial. The now-vacant site once held two homes which have since been demolished.
Earl intends to build a 32,700-square-foot facility at the rear of the parcel to hold the machinery that packs and wraps the garbage along with a 4,500-square-foot covered trailer parking structure.
The business is intended to be a fully automated residential-only garbage transfer station. It will take in truckloads of household waste from the company’s vehicles on a daily basis, package it into large cubes, wrap the cubes in polypropylene, stack them on flatbeds trucks and ship them off that night to a site in Ohio.
The waste taken in each day is to leave the facility at the end of that day.
At a presentation before the board on Sept. 9 Earl played a DVD showing the machinery in operation. The site will have just three employees.
“This is a residential transfer station. It has nothing to do with recycling, nothing to do with trucks being washed, nothing to do with keeping trucks on the site.” Earl told the board Monday. “The waste is going from one vehicle to another and then on to another site. There will be no outside storage.”
He described the Capital Region as being in a garbage crisis due to continued growth in the amount of residential waste being produced and a decrease in the number of places to put it.
The application appeared on the board’s agenda as a public hearing and drew a number of residents who live in the vicinity of the site. None of their comments were in support of the project.
“Tabor Road is a residential neighborhood,” said John Pickett, a resident living nearby. “There are no industrial or commercial structures on it. There are no sidewalks, no shoulders on the road. Walking is dangerous. This will make it worse.”
Several other residents spoke at the hearing and agreed with Pickett that the area is residential. They expressed concern with seeing this type of commercial business built on the site. The neighbors told the board they were concerned with noise, odors, and the chance that the site might present an unpleasant appearance.
“I’m very opposed to this happening on Tabor Road,” said Glen LaBlanc. “I’m concerned with an increase in traffic and the noise. There will be a decrease in value of the houses that are adjacent to it. Despite what we’ve heard here about there being no odors, there’s no guarantee.”
Speaking to the residents Earl assured them the trucks with their residential waste would go directly into the facility upon entering the site and the resulting bundles would be sealed allowing no odors to escape before being shipped off.
“This area is Light-Industrial,” he said. “It’s zoned for the rough stuff. That’s the future of the town.”
Bob Degnan, a resident of Northern Sites Drive, was another who opposed the project.
“From a neighborhood perspective for a family, Tabor and Ushers Road is horrible. Now we’re adding 80 more trucks plus the 14 freight trains that go through there each day? Traffic safety is a major concern. The road is a rolling incline. It’s a disaster waiting to occur.”
Earl put the number of trucks that the site will receive on any one day at a maximum of 40 trips. The facility is to operate five days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a half day on Saturday for cleanup.
He also took the residents to task for expressing concern about potential odors from a facility not yet built.
“Everyone hates garbage yet there has never been one call to DEC for the raw garbage sitting outside County Waste,” Earl told the residents. “This is not opinion. This is fact. These other operations are corporations. I’m local. I live here. I want to be a good neighbor.”
In seconding the motion to approve Earl’s application, board member Tom Koval said he did so while being aware of the possibility of increased traffic on the road, but he took the residents to task for being concerned about potential odors while never once making a complaint to DEC about those from County Waste.
“It’s your responsibility to stop these odors not stop a new application,” he said. “Take some personal responsibility.”
Degnan was unhappy with the result of the vote.
“There were no five year projections,” he said. “How many truckloads will be going in there then? And no one (on the board) seemed to pay attention to the comments about Ushers Road. The first time there’s an accident up there I’ll be right back here in front of them.”