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Controversial waste transfer station won't go to north Peoria after mayor, thousands of residents push back

Arizona Republic logo Arizona Republic 9/16/2020 Joshua Bowling, Arizona Republic
a view of a street in front of a house: Housing construction continues to grow in communities off of Lake Pleasant Parkway in Peoria on Aug. 17, 2020. © Patrick Breen/The Republic Housing construction continues to grow in communities off of Lake Pleasant Parkway in Peoria on Aug. 17, 2020.

A controversial waste transfer station will not be built in north Peoria after thousands of residents, including the mayor and a City Council member, penned letters and signed petitions opposing the facility.

Republic Services had proposed the transfer station near 115th Avenue and Happy Valley Parkway. The company said in a statement this month that it's looking for a new site and will solicit suggestions from the surrounding community. 

Waste transfer stations are facilities where trucks that carry local trash can unload and other trucks can haul the load to a landfill or recycling center.

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The company said the project would fill a critical need for the rapidly growing suburbia in Peoria's north end. But a grassroots coalition of residents formed a Facebook group some 4,000 members strong to oppose the planned facility, claiming it would increase traffic and clash with the quiet suburban lifestyle that drew them to the area. 

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"Part of being a good neighbor means listening and responding whenever possible," Republic Services Municipal Manager Stephen Herring said in a statement. "We appreciate the thoughtful community input and look forward to working together to still bring this needed infrastructure to the northwest Valley."

Vanessa Angell, who lives in the nearby Crossriver development, started the Facebook group "Happy Valley Says NO to a Waste Transfer Station" in April. By August, signs bearing a crossed-out illustration of a garbage truck and the name of her group's website, stopthestinkystation.com, lined the streets near residential developments and shopping centers along Happy Valley Road.

"I am extremely ecstatic that we were heard. This is proof that uniting together can produce results," Angell said.

a close up of a truck: Construction of Paloma Park and its 120 acres continues in Peoria on Aug. 17, 2020. © Patrick Breen/The Republic Construction of Paloma Park and its 120 acres continues in Peoria on Aug. 17, 2020.

A push on social media to stop plans

Angell's push on social media was successful.

The Facebook group she started in April was just a place for her and her neighbors to organize their thoughts. By the summer, it grew to 4,000 members. The petition against the waste transfer station had some 5,000 signatures, she said.

Even Mayor Cathy Carlat and City Councilmember Bridget Binsbacher sent letters opposed to the project to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. The project is in a county island and would have required rezoning from county officials. 

"These homeowners believe unequivocally that their families and their quality of life will be negatively impacted," Carlat wrote in her May letter. "In light of this very vocal dissent, I cannot support this project as it is clear that the citizens who reside in Peoria and the County parcels do not want this type of facility in or near their communities."

Reach reporter Joshua Bowling at jbowling@azcentral.com or 602-444-8138. Follow him on Twitter @MrJoshuaBowling.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Controversial waste transfer station won't go to north Peoria after mayor, thousands of residents push back

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