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City OKs recycling sites

Council recommends Burrtec Waste Industries move on one of three locations chosen by staff committee

Posted: November 23, 2010 9:27 p.m.
Updated: November 24, 2010 1:03 p.m.
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A trash company got the OK from the Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday night to again pursue the purchase of property for a future recycling facility.

Burrtec Waste Industries Inc., the city’s industrial-waste hauler, has three options: a 170-acre industrial project in south Newhall; a former oil refinery on Sierra Highway; and the Saugus Industrial Center, which is east of Magic Mountain Parkway at Railroad Avenue.

The City Council voted unanimously to adopt city staff’s recommendation, which was to direct Burrtec to move forward with trying to purchase one of the three sites.

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

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

Burrtec 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 also required to develop and operate a material-recovery facility, or MRF, to recycle the city’s waste in response to state laws mandating local governments to divert ever-increasing amounts of trash from ending up in landfills.

At least two of the sites have issues to work through.

Local Sierra Club and the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, or SCOPE, officials have come out against the Gate-King site, citing concerns over SCOPE’s impending appeal against the Gate-King site over environmental concerns, which include potential harm to a nearby wildlife corridor and the paving over of nearby Newhall Creek.

SCOPE President Lynne Plambeck said she was at the recent Elsmere Canyon dedication, which celebrated the city’s role in the canyon’s preservation as a wildlife corridor. She noted that the city’s consideration of Gate-King for a MRF site may harm that very wildlife corridor the city protected with Elsmere.

David Morrow, the committee’s Sierra Club representative, urged City Council to take the Gate-King site off the list because of the 600 oak trees there that are slated to be cut down to make way for the recycling facility and other industrial buildings there.

The Saugus Industrial Center site has an access issue: There’s currently only one way in and out of the facility.

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