By Jenna-Lee Neff

For more than a year, local residents have gone toe-to-toe with Republic Services over the planning and development of a new waste transfer station. But a recent rezoning application for a newly proposed site shows that the battle is far from over.

In October 2020, Republic Services decided not to pursue building the transfer facility at the originally proposed site located near 115th Ave and Happy Valley Road. It was announced in February of this year that the company had found a new location in an industrial area near El Mirage Road and Loop 303.

According to a press release from Republic Services, the proposed location is sheltered from view by the Loop 303 and was selected after considered community outreach and review.

“Part of being a good neighbor means listening and responding whenever possible,” Stephen Herring, municipal relationship manager for Republic Services, was quoted in the release. “We appreciate the thoughtful community input. This new location achieves our primary goals of keeping recycling costs and trash disposal rates low, while also addressing residents’ concerns.”

The application, filed in Maricopa County in early August, seeks to change the current zoning of the land from IND-2, light industrial, to IND-3, which is heavy industrial and would allow the land to be used in creating the waste treatment station.

Many local residents have taken to social media to oppose the project since the project was announced, with several joining the Facebook group “Happy Valley Says NO to a Waste Transfer Station.” The group currently has more than 4,300 members. Posts in the groups have cited health concerns, impact on home value, increased traffic and noise, and vermin as some of the reasons members of the community are opposed to the waste transfer station.

Now that the rezoning application has been filed, residents can send letters of support or opposition of the project to Maricopa County. Letters can be emails to adam.cannon@maricopa.gov and will need to include the reference number Z2021090.

A Technical Advisory Committee meeting with the Maricopa County Planning and Development Department is scheduled to hear the case in the new application on September 21 at 9 a.m. Members of the public will be able to listen in on the meeting and an audio recording will be available afterwards. To learn how to tune into the meeting, visit maricopa.gov/797/Planning-Development.

A Change.org petition titled “Say NO to the WestWing Waste Transfer Station” has received more than 3,900 signatures.

To learn more or keep up with the latest information on the project, visit westwingtransfer.com.