WILBRAHAM – A new recycling center could be built soon at 120 Old Boston Road.
The Planning Board, during its Sept. 16 meeting, discussed preliminary plans for the site with project petitioners.
Attorney Frank Fitzgerald, representing property owner Jerry Gagliarducci, said there’s been an increase need for recycling of impacted soil and municipal solid waste in the town.
“The ultimate idea is not to increase the amount of tonnage that will be taken in any given year, but just change the nature of what’s accepted at the facility,” he added.
Attorney Thomas Mackie, also representing Gagliarducci, said impacted soil couldn’t be reused in a residential location. However, the soil is not considered hazardous waste. It is typically used for cover material on landfills.
The facility will also accept construction and demolition materials for recycling, Fitzgerald said.
He added the facility would also function as a transfer station.
“It’s not a landfill,” he noted. “The material that comes in is processed and then shipped out. This facility has a rail [siding] and the rail would likely be used to ship the materials out.”
Fitzgerald said there is a limit on how much waste could be stored at the facility, which would dictate when materials would be shipped out. However, he did not know the exact limit at that time.
He added that 12 to 14 employees could potentially work at the facility if it is approved.
Western Recycling previously operated out of the site, he noted.
“It’s always good to see a viable operation,” Planning Board Chair Jeffery Smith said. “Obviously, there’s going to be jobs there and this is what we want on Boston Road. This is what people said they wanted – businesses with a viable operation.”
A host community agreement between the owner and the town would also come into play during discussions with town, Fitzgerald said.
Planning Director John Pearsall told Reminder Publications in order for the site to be approved it would need authorization from the Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as well as Planning Board approval for a new or amended special permit.
He added that the previous company at the site was restricted to recycling material from building constructions and demolitions. The developer would potentially seek to obtain a special permit that would allow recycling of municipal waste as well.
Pearsall said a zoning bylaw change might also be required to allow municipal waste recycling at the property, which would need to be approved by a Town Meeting vote.
In other business, the Planning Board unanimously approved a draft decision to allow No Fossil Fuel to create a 131,840-square-foot ground-mounted solar energy system at 651 Main St., located on six acres of land off of Tinkham Road owned by the Charles Merrick Trust.