A reckoning is coming for recycling in New Jersey
WEST MILFORD — After nearly a year, a controversial proposal to expand an organic recycling center near Greenwood Lake Turnpike is back on the table.
Green Meadow Organics’ application for use and bulk variances at the compost and mulch yard is scheduled to be back before Zoning Board officials during their Aug. 27 meeting. However, Mayor Michele Dale said the meeting’s activity will be limited to setting a date, time and location for a future hearing on the application.
West Milford High School’s auditorium is being considered as the location and the time possibly 7 p.m. on Sept. 19.
“The township is aware that there are many residents who plan to attend the board’s hearing on this application,” she said. “We will be securing a venue that will be able to accommodate all residents that plan on attending.”
The last hearing, on Aug. 28, 2018, was postponed as town hall’s main meeting room was packed beyond capacity.
A plan to reconvene last October at West Milford High School was cancelled after the applicant, Green Meadow Organics LLC, requested time to develop an environmental impact statement for the proposed expansion and addition of food waste and concrete recycling.
An organic recycling operation near the Monksville Reservoir in West Milford could be expanded to more than four times its size if approvals are granted. (Photo: Courtesy of Jill Van Nostrand)
The site, a former rock quarry off Burnt Meadow Road, currently operates under RVH Mulch Supply. The Wyckoff-based outfit, which did not respond to a request for comment, is currently permitted to accept only compostable leaves, brush and grass clippings that have previously been separated from non-compostable material and solid waste, state records show.
Gary Paolazzi of Burnt Meadow Road is among a group of nearby residents fearful of the planned expansion. Paolazzi said the potential for the larger operation to increase traffic and lower the local quality of life is a concern.
The Township Council amended the town’s Limited Manufacturing and Industrial Zone in December 2017 to permit soil and mulch processing, composting and scrap tire recycling on sites of at least 6 acres. The leaf, grass and brush recycling center in a former quarry off Burnt Meadow Road currently uses six of the site’s 47 acres, town records show.
A proposal to expand the operation to cover 28 acres gained unconditional approval from the Passaic County Planning Board in June 2018, records show. Town officials issued the proposal’s Highlands Act exemption earlier in 2018.
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