Residents are saying ‘No’ to Waste Transfer Station

By Stephen Quigley

Representatives from Casella Resources Solutions appeared Monday night before a packed room of more than 200 residents at The Charlestown Neighborhood Council’s Basic Services Committee in the Knights of Columbus Hall to explain their proposal to locate a trash transfer station at their facility off Rutherford Avenue behind the old Hood Plant. The representatives wanted to get community feedback about the project.  What they heard from residents and business owners was a resounding, “not in Charlestown.”

The Casella spokespersons outlined their plan to bring 650 tons of non-recycled household trash to the Rutherford Ave. facility six days per week.  Once the trash is in the facility, there would need to be up to 80 trucks per day to remove the trash between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. primarily using Rutherford Ave.

The spokespersons noted that Charlestown could receive $200,000 in mitigation monies and that Charlestown residents would be given top priority in filling the 10 new jobs that would be created if the zoning variance that is needed is approved by Boston officials.

After the presentation, the floor was open to the residents for questions and comments.

Tom Cunha, president of the Charlestown Neighborhood Council (CNC), noted that presently the Casella Recycling facility is handling 800 tons per day and they are seeking to add another 650 tons of trash per day.  He questioned whether the regulatory agencies would be vigilant in monitoring the facility.  He also expressed a desire that the hearings of the Boston Zoning Board and Health Department be held at night so that residents may attend these meetings and give their input.

Margaret Bradley another CNC member noted that “big trucks are noisy, and how do you mitigate the noise.” Judy Brennan, another CNC Board member, asked, “How do you regulate the rats and flies?”  She added that “Rutherford Ave. is my residential street and I hear noise at night. Rutherford Ave. cannot take any more traffic.”

Residents always questioned the presentation saying that it only presented the upside and not the negatives of the proposed facility.

Peggy Hamon noted that many residents are living along Rutherford Ave. and officials should just say no.

Diane O’Leary noted that Casella has been in Charlestown for 18 years and is not aware of any community contribution that the company has made to local organizations.

Residents also expressed concerns about what might be in the trash that the company picks up, such as construction materials.  Other residents pointed out that officials have been talking about rehabbing Sullivan Square and that this type of facility would not fit into those plans.

At the close of the meeting the Casella spokespersons thanked the residents and will seek to address the issues at future meetings.

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