A proposed state-of-the-art $2.5 million recycling center and solid waste transfer station that would be located on Springfield's south side has been met with resistance from many of the residents in that area. The facility would be built on a 10 acre property near the UPS building on West Leffel Lane and would create nearly 15 full-time jobs.
Kevin Dewey and Mike Snoddy are co-owners of Recycle Clark County LLC, and they are the developers of the recycling center and solid waste transfer station that would extract recyclable material from trash dumped at the site. The garbage would be compacted and shipped out to a landfill each night minus the recycled material.
Dewey says the site won't be a traditional landfill or a dump, but a replication of the many recycling centers that are being developed across the country like the one in Troy. South side residents have expressed concerns about possible traffic problems and foul odors, but Dewey explains the facility won't be allowed to operate under those conditions.
"If it was going in my backyard I would want to know everything about it as they do," Dewey says. "So I don't fault them for their concern or even some mild opposition. What we have tried to do is reach out to the opposition leaders and you know, further explain that this a federally regulated operation. It will be under the oversight of not only the county and the city, but the federal government."
Dale Henry, who is the president of the Southern Gateway Association and a former city commissioner, is leading the opposition to the center. He says residents have been working with the city and the chamber of commerce to improve the image of Springfield's south side and to attract more retail related businesses to the area. The recycling center is not the image he feels fits that description.
"A lot of people look at the actual way this corridor looks, and they look at the image of the corridor and we are just trying to improve all of that," Henry says.
Developers selected the south side location for the recycling center because of its close proximity to Interstate 70 and US Route 68, and they say it will absorb business from a soon to be closed waste center in Vandalia.
Recycle Clark County is now seeking planning and zoning approval from Springfield for the recycling center and hope to eventually have it up and running in the spring of 2015.