Residents of the Meadowthorpe neighborhood said Tuesday night they will fight to keep Republic Services from opening a garbage transfer station within a third of a mile of their homes.
The $7 million Lexington Eco Center would be located on 8 acres at 203 Lisle Industrial Avenue, a site that was previously used as an industrial recycling facility.
Representatives of Republic said in a presentation to the Meadowthorpe Neighborhood Association that trash collected from Lexington homes and businesses would be brought to the facility and deposited on the floor of an enclosed building.
Gregory Butler, municipal relationship manager for Republic, said the trash would then be “immediately” transferred to tractor-trailers that would take the waste to the company’s landfill in Stanford.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
“We want to service more customers, and we want to do it more efficiently,” Butler said. “We don’t want to pay our drivers to drive to Stanford.”
But people who live in the area said they saw nothing in the plan to benefit them.
“Recent events in Estill County have shown us that the best plans of controlling what happens with trash are not under the absolute control of the people who are in the business,” Jim Capillo, president of the neighborhood association, said after the meeting.
The Board of Adjustment is scheduled to consider a conditional use permit for the project at its March 25 meeting.
Former 2nd District Councilman Tom Blues told attendees at the neighborhood meeting that “this is a major moment in our neighborhood.”
“We do not need another transfer station,” he said. “What our area needs in that space ... is something like a small area plan, rezoning. ... There’s some opportunity for something other than heavy industry.”
The association unanimously approved a motion by Blues that it actively oppose the transfer station when it comes before the board of adjustment.
Butler told neighbors who were concerned about traffic that most of the trucks would come and go from Old Frankfort Pike rather than Leestown Road.
He said the company and its customers made 157 trips a day to the city’s transfer station when Republic operated it from 1995 to 2015.
The previous occupant of the Lisle site made 290 trips a day, he said.
Troy Lyons, who owns a small shopping center across the street from the site, said foul odors were a given.
“The reality is, it’s a dump in your back door,” he said after Republic’s presentation.
But Butler said the company planned to take measures to mitigate odor, noise and related nuisances.
The facility would operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but company representatives said the last trucks would come through at 4:30 p.m. to allow for cleaning the facility during the latter part of the day.
Republic said no trash would be left in the facility overnight, and a misting system would deodorize trash waiting to be transfered to tractor-trailers.
“We think it’s going to be comparable to our neighbors and previous occupants,” Butler said.
One resident asked why Republic doesn’t use the city-owned transfer station.
Butler said the company has not used that facility since July, when the city contracted with a competitor that offered a lower bid. He said driving the garbage trucks directly to the landfill in Stanford causes unwanted wear and tear.
“The more of the operations that we own and control, the more money that we make,” Butler said. “… This is a business decision for Republic Services.”