SARASOTA COUNTY - The City of North Port is considering changing the way it collects garbage. Instead of each truck hauling to the county landfill, the city is looking at the possibility of a collection site in North Port.
The plan would allow larger vehicles to make less frequent trips to the landfill. But some people who live near potential sites say the plan stinks.
City waste officials believe they may be able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars by making fewer trips to the landfill after the trash collected, and also by selling some of the recyclable material. But they need a location to keep it and sort it in the meantime.
Tony Tredwell isn't happy with a potential plan to build a waste and recycling transfer facility near his Bobcat Trail home. “We are going to have smell, noise, dust."
All five potential 20-acre sites are near Toledo Blade Boulevard. "All of the sites are less than a mile from here. There is a lot of evidence that says your home value will reduce if you are within 1.8 miles of one of these stations."
Waste officials say the facility would be housed inside a large building.
"It's not a landfill." North Port solid waste manager Monica Bramble says they're trying to figure out how much they could save with a potential site now and into the future. The city is only 25% built out. Already they're making more than 2,000 trips to the landfill each year. Holding it for larger semis could save the city money. "A lot of gas, a lot of manpower, a lot of maintenance, wear and tear on the equipment."
They are also paying tipping fees to the recycling center in Venice when they could be making money on the materials. "With having a transfer station, it would allow us to look at marketing our recyclables to other facilities. We may get some value for them."
But many want to know why a city with as much land as North Port has wants to build it near where people live. "There is over 100 square miles of land. It is surprising that all five sites are within just a few miles of each other."
Bramble says building it near where their trucks are housed is cost efficient. Building it far away simply defeats the purpose. "If we go to a parcel way out where nobody is, that is where there is no roads, no electricity, no sewer. The cost to develop that shoots way up, and then it is no economically feasible."
She says getting feedback is part of the process in figuring out where if anywhere it should go. In just a few days Tony and some of his neighbors have collected more than 200 signatures on a petition to keep it out of their back yard. "Near homes, near schools, near anybody…it's a fact that it is no located where it should be."
Nothing is set in stone so far. A nearly $75,000 study is currently being conducted to find out how much a facility would cost and how much they could save. A big part of that is how much they would have to spend on land for it.
The city welcomes additional feedback at yournorthport.com.
The proposed locations are:
- Parcel 0960-00-1001, 37.5 acres located on the Northwest corner of Toledo Blade Boulevard and North Cranberry Boulevard
- Parcel 1117-00-1100, 34.4 acres located north of Price Boulevard with sections bordering Toledo Blade Boulevard and Price Boulevard.
- Parcel 1094-00-3300, 64.1 acres located off Plantation and Panacea Boulevards and bordering I-75
- Parcel 1094-00-3200, 61.9 acres located off Panacea Boulevard and bordering I-75
- Parcels 0984-03-0010, 13.8 acres and 0984-02-0100, 8.44 acres, both bordering Price Boulevard and Citizen’s Parkway.