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New Trash Station Faces January Hearing

The volume reduction plant is proposed for this area on Plumtrees Road.
The volume reduction plant is proposed for this area on Plumtrees Road.

Danbury faces a new trash facility on Plumtrees Road, a larger version of a similar trash facility the city rejected in 2007.

 Plumtrees Road is the site of Danbury’s former landfill, now a tall grass-covered hill. The city closed it in the 1990s. The road is also home to the city’s fire fighting academy, its sewage treatment plant, Dell’s Auto Wrecking and Putnam Automotive.

 Joseph Putnam, owner of Putnam Automotive, is proposing the waste reduction plant on two acres of land at the auto body shop and on land he also owns behind that, according to papers filed by the state DEEP.

 The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued a notice of tentative determination in December, and wrote a draft, repeating the word draft three times, “Permit to Construct and Operate,” a solid waste Volume Reduction Plant.

 This facility hasn’t faced any reviews by Danbury boards or commissions yet. No application is filed with the city, said Sharon Calitro, deputy planning director.

 Calitro said Putnam appealed the Planning Commission’s 2007 denial of his earlier application for a trash facility on Plumtrees Road, and that case is still in court. 

 Calitro said the city’s zoning regulations no longer allow a trash facility on Plumtrees Road. She said the city hasn’t seen any plans and can’t make any decisions, because no application has been filed.

 Danbury opposes this facility, and it will send lawyers to Hartford on Jan. 22 to oppose the plant at a state DEEP, “pre-hearing.” The “pre-hearing” isn’t a public hearing, but city lawyers, representatives of the Danbury Housing Authority and members of the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority, agencies that have legal standing with the DEEP on this issue, will be allowed to speak.

 Putnam, who applied to the DEEP for the facility, could not be reached for comment Monday.

 City Council Member Tom Saadi, who represents people in the Plumtrees neighborhood, said times have been changing and improving on Plumtrees Road and in the neighborhood. He said the city’s landfill closed, a mulch facility opened, the state emissions facility closed, and numerous condominium communities opened nearby

 “Let’s not go backwards,” Saadi said. “This isn’t about blocking good, commercial or industrial development.”

 According to state DEEP paperwork, the facility is proposed at about two acres in size. The two-acre waste reduction facility will be designed to deal with 800 daily tons and a maximum daily storage capacity of 4,960 cubic yards. It will operate from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Monday to Saturday, although waste processing can occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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