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Bloomington Residents Worried About Waste Facility Expansion

Residents of the Near West Side neighborhood say the expansion of a solid waste facility could have lastly negative effects.

westside neighborhood sign

Photo: City of Bloomington

A sign marks the entrance to the Near West Side Neighborhood in Bloomington.

Residents on Bloomington’s near west side say they are concerned a proposal to expand a solid waste facility will harm their neighborhood.

A permit application the Indiana Department of Environmental Management is considering would allow  the salvage processing facility on Vernal Pike to expand and include a solid waste transfer station.

Secretary of the Near West Side Neighborhood Association Steven Janowiecki says locals are concerned about the affect the expansion would have on the neighborhood.

“We’re concerned about safety for pedestrians, the eco-villages out there as well, they travel primarily by bicycle and by foot,” Janowiecki says. “And if they’re walking along the side of the road and the trucks are going through it’s going to be really loud. We’re worried about debris and other issues with the waste transfer.”

Bethany Steven is the President of Indiana Recycling Resource. She says if the permit is approved some trucks will be bringing trash into the neighborhood, but she does not expect it to lead to a dramatic increase in traffic.

“And we understand that, you know, something new coming in is always a little bit scary,” Steven says. “But we really think that, you know, using the same property and doing the same type of business that we’ve been doing here for so many years, we hope to think that it’s going to be a smaller impact than they foresee it being.”

IDEM officials say they are considering the application and will not issue a permit unless the salvage company meets all the regulatory requirements that relate to the environmental issues.

IDEM is required to issue a decision on the permit within 180 days.

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