It is with gratitude to my neighbors that I write this letter, for their unrelenting opposition to the Dirty Multiple Recovery Facility (MRF) whose application was denied [July 8] on a technicality by the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment. My southwest Buncombe County neighbors did their research, contacted elected officials and rallied countless others to educate them about the environmental and economic impact of a facility like the one proposed by Regional Recycling Solutions (RRS) on Pond Road.
To my dismay, though, is the lack of response to a proposed Dirty MRF from our local environmental groups. I have been a continuous member of the Sierra Club for 25 years, and the national organization has a policy opposing Dirty MRFs. Yet, phone calls and emails went unanswered by my local branch. Other local environmental groups chose to take a “wait and see” approach. The National Recycling Coalition representing numerous recycling businesses also opposes Dirty MRFs (nrcrecycles.org).
Are you still wondering if this is a Dirty MRF? Regional Recycling Solutions’ own website reads “The best part? When our facilities arrive in your community you no longer need to force your taxpayers to separate their garbage. That’s right, we can separate it in-house” (regionalrecyclingsolutions.com).
If that is not convincing enough, RRS’s own attorney’s response [July 8] on how baby diapers will be sorted out in the first part of the facility should tell you this is an unsorted trash disposal facility.
When residents and businesses know their trash will be sorted for them, they will resort to the belief that when in doubt, throw it in. We become a lazy society, we don’t take responsibility for recycling our own trash, let alone garbage from neighboring states as the owner Mr. Allison proposed in an interview with UNCA’s The Blue Banner this spring.
There are many other aspects of MRFs and RRS worth investigating. But for now, I just want to say thank you to attorney Derek Allen and his staff, Rep. Brian Turner, employees of Waste Management, and friends and neighbors who attended [the July 8] meeting. RRS plans on continuing their building request. I hope the rest of Buncombe County and Asheville does its research and takes a stand opposing such development. If not, we might as well create new signage for the semitrailers bringing in garbage from Virginia: Welcome to TRASHeville.
— Phyllis Robertson