Zoning board talks trash

Colin Webb, News Editor

An influx over 100 vocal residents crowded and spilled out of the West Milford Town Hall during a Zoning Board meeting on Tuesday, August 28th. The meeting was set in regards to a planned expansion of a waste disposal site by Green Meadow Organics on Burnt Meadow Road.

The scheduled Zoning Board meeting was forced to abruptly close due to fire safety standards, in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

“In all the years I’ve been here, I have never seen this many people out for any one application,” said Stephen Glatt, the sitting board attorney. “This was totally unexpected.”

The site of interest is a lot located on Burnt Meadow Road. The property is currently used as a grass and brush recycling site by RVH Mulch Supply, who also utilize the site to supply mulch commercially. Plans have been made to expand the site to also accept a variety of food waste, should it be purchased by Green Meadow (northjersey.com).

While site does have the potential to generate revenue for the town, Burnt Meadow residents aren’t fully convinced. Some  homeowners, such as Gary Paolazzi, have some strong opinions about the site.

Paolazzi had personal concerns about the possible ramifications of a food waste facility so close to where people live. “[Food waste] brings a lot of problems; it’s going to smell. There’s going to be seagulls. It’s pretty much going to make the whole town a dump.”

While some, like Paolazzi, have already expressed a desire to move should the decision be finalized in favor of Green Meadow, property owners could find it difficult to do so. Rampant odors have the potential to damage property value, and the wildlife they attract could also be a danger on their own.

The meeting, which was rescheduled twice, finally occurred on Tuesday, October 25th, at the West Milford High School. It seems as though Green Meadow will be free to move along with their plans, reportedly with “unconditional approval” from officials of the Passaic County Department of Planning and Economic Development. It is not known at the time of publishing when the Burnt Meadow site will be purchased and reworked by Green Meadow Organics.