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And then there were 3

Committee narrows down recycling-facility options from 10; City Council to consider final choices

Posted: November 16, 2010 8:25 p.m.
Updated: November 17, 2010 4:30 a.m.
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A city citizens’ committee charged with narrowing down the possible locations for a facility to sort recyclables whittled it down to 10, and the Santa Clarita City Council will seriously consider three during its meeting Tuesday.

The city’s Ad Hoc Recycling Facility Site Selection Citizen Committee compiled the list over several months, ranking each and conducting a hand-count of which of the nine committee members approved of each site.

Two of the 10 locations got the entire ad-hoc committee’s stamp of approval. Ranking first was Gate-King Industrial Park, a 170-acre industrial project in south Newhall off Sierra Highway. The Hondo Oil Refinery site, also on Sierra Highway, ranked second among committee members.

City staff and Burrtec will also consider Saugus Industrial Center. Burrtec already rents part of the property, situated on the east side of Railroad Avenue at Magic Mountain Parkway.

Burrtec Waste Industries Inc. has a contract with the city of Santa Clarita to take care of industrial waste within city limits.

As part of its city contract, Burrtec is required to develop and operate a material-recovery facility, or MRF, to recycle the city’s waste.

After three failed attempts at picking a location for such a facility, the city created the Ad Hoc Recycling Facility Site Selection Citizen Committee.

The committee sought possibilities that weren’t near homes and that had easy access to the freeway, according to city environmental-services manager Travis Lange.

Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment President Lynne Plambeck said her organization has concerns about where the facility will be located.

“The proposal isn’t just for a recycling facility, but for a landfill,” Plambeck said. “It’s a concrete slab where trash is dumped, and they put it on trucks and haul it away.”

Plambeck said the Gate-King property’s environmental review did not include a project of this kind.

Plambeck added that the city and Burrtec need to consider the impacts of land use such as this at Gate-King.

“We still have to be mindful of the (nearby) wildlife corridor,” Plambeck said.

Lange said the sites included in the committee’s list are large, and the actual location of a recycling facility on an individual site has not been determined. Details on a specific site and its environmental considerations will be looked at once a single site is selected, Lange said.

“Every site has its specific characteristics and permitting requirements,” Lange said. “When a site is actually picked and proposed by Burrtec, that’s when that level of analysis will be done.”

An 11th site, 75 acres on Sierra Highway north of Placerita Canyon Road, ranked fourth and was accepted by five of the committee members, but was vehemently opposed by the Canyon Country community.

Burrtec officials said they’ll no longer consider this location. Mayor Laurene Weste said the City Council will certainly not be considering that location, either.

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