HOWELL – Mayor Theresa Berger is encouraging Howell residents to ask Monmouth County officials for information about a proposed solid waste transfer station and a plan to have the facility added to the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan.
Resource Engineering has proposed constructing a solid waste transfer station at 34 Randolph Road and having the facility added to the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan.
The property on Randolph Road is near the intersection of Route 547 (Lakewood-Farmingdale Road).
As described by representatives of the company, the solid waste transfer station would receive thousands of tons of cleanup debris and construction debris by truck each day. The debris would be sorted at the Howell site and shipped to other facilities for final disposal.
Berger attended a meeting of the Monmouth County Solid Waste Advisory Council (SWAC) on Jan. 17 in Tinton Falls. An update on a county traffic study that has been conducted in conjunction with the proposal for the solid waste transfer station was on the agenda.
During the Jan. 21 meeting of the Howell Township Council, Berger reported on her attendance at the SWAC meeting.
“(SWAC members) said they have a preliminary report on the transfer station, but they were not yet ready to share that information with anyone. I think it is important that if anybody wants that information, they really should start asking for it,” the mayor said.
Resident Marc Parisi said he also attended the SWAC meeting. He said the advisory council’s members reported that the county had submitted a traffic study, but he said there was no discussion of the study’s findings at the meeting.
“Monmouth County Deputy Administrator Geoffrey Perselay attended the SWAC meeting and gave a status update on the application. He said the traffic study was pending review with county engineers,” Parisi said.
“Mr. Perselay briefly summarized the history of (the solid waste transfer station) application and the events that have caused delays, namely that Howell officials initially said they approved of the transfer station, but then changed their position and submitted a letter of disapproval at the time (the application) was being reviewed by the county freeholders. An updated traffic report was requested and (a) bridge repair delayed that (traffic study),” Parisi said.
Parisi said Perselay reminded everyone who attended the meeting that SWAC is an advisory body and that the freeholders will have the final say on the solid waste transfer station. If the facility is approved by the county, the plan will be sent to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for final approval.
The Randolph Road property where the solid waste transfer station is being proposed is near a site where an applicant is proposing to construct 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space. That application for the Monmouth Commerce Center is currently being heard by the Howell Planning Board.
During the SWAC meeting, “I commented about the Monmouth Commerce Center … being next to a solid waste transfer station and (said) there are major concerns about the traffic impact on Route 547 and nearby residents, that a single-lane county road with no shoulders could not sustain the proposed traffic from either application, or from both applications, and I said the county needs to carefully review this (situation). Mr. Perselay seemed to agree that was a significant concern for the county,” Parisi said.
Councilman John Bonevich said Howell deserves a measure of courtesy and access to the county’s traffic study regarding the proposed solid waste transfer station.
“Howell’s governing body and professionals deserve courtesy and should have access to the county’s new traffic study. If the county approves (the solid waste transfer station), hundreds of heavy trucks containing asbestos, lead-based paint, varnish and other hazardous wastes will be coming in and out of the site daily.
“As a Howell councilman, I oppose that plan and will ask the Township Council to put forth our own traffic study if need be. Our roads were never designed for such traffic flow and it would be unfair to burden our taxpayers with the costs of repairing roads that will be destroyed,” Bonevich said. “It may be a county traffic study, but it’s our town and we should never be shut out from any information pertaining to Howell.”