DEP Suggests Howell Waste Facility Could Bring Hazardous Waste to Township

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HOWELL-As the Monmouth County Solid Waste Advisory Committee prepares to green-light a plan to build a 1,500 ton solid waste processing facility to Randolph Road, the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection warns communities about risks associated with such facilities.

The 1,500 tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris that can be processed at the facility would consist of the waste generated during construction, renovation, and demolition projects across the Jersey Shore.

“Covering a wide array of materials, this waste often contains bulky, heavy materials, including concrete, wood, asphalt (from roads and roofing shingles), gypsum (the main component of drywall), metals, bricks, plastics, and plant materials from site clearing. C&D debris also includes salvaged building components such as doors, windows, and plumbing fixtures,” the DEP said in a bulletin warning of the risks of such debris. “Materials comprising C & D debris can sometimes be contaminated by undesirable components and/or toxic compounds such as asbestos, lead-based paint (LBP), varnish, creosote and adhesives leading to the need for potentially have hazardous waste to dispose of from the site.”

Additionally, local residents are questioning the political connections behind the facility.

The Howell Township watchdog group, Howell NJ Strong published records this past fall  that showed the firm being chosen for the project, Resource Engineering LLC, based out of a post office box in Farmingdale is owned by Robert French, the husband of recently retired Monmouth County Clerk Claire French, a longtime member of the Monmouth County GOP.

If approved, the county freeholders could award the company millions of dollars in contracts to process solid waste for the county, even bringing in waste from surrounding Ocean and Middlesex Counties to the facility.

Howell Mayor Theresa Berger has gone on record to express her opposition to this facility saying the increase in traffic and pollution around the township is unacceptable.   Berger also said she doesn’t think such a facility is what Howell Township needs.

In recent years, the township has brought in a huge amount of ratables along the Route 9 corridor, including a movie theater, restaurants and shopping centers, creating a bustling business sector that draws shoppers from nearby communities including Jackson and Lakewood.

Residents have created a Facebook page called “Stop the Dump in Howell” to communicate with each other about the proposed facility.   They intend to show the SWAC that they do not want the facility in their town on Thursday.

A meeting will be held Thursday (January 25) at 7:00 PM by theMonmouth County Solid Waste Advisory Council meeting. The meeting will be held at the Main Meeting Room located on the second floor of the Howell Township Municipal Building, 4567 Route 9 North, Howell Township, NJ 07731.