Guest Editorial: Head Scratcher In Peoria

By Peoria Watchman

Less than 30 minutes from the heart of Phoenix lies a vibrant community that residents cherish, admire, and defend.  Rightly so, the City of Peoria is one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona.  Home to nationally recognized trails, parks, shopping, and dining destinations that rival those of any other city in the Valley, Peoria is appreciated by its residents.

So, it’s no surprise that some of them have banded together in recent months to voice concerns over Republic Services’ proposal for a recycling and waste transfer station in its fastest growing northern reaches.  The company dropped its original spot on Happy Valley Road for this necessary piece of infrastructure last year after receiving numerous comments in opposition.

Like any good community partner would do, Republic Services, one of the largest companies based in Arizona, went back to the drawing board.  After much deliberation, it selected a new location that is already zoned for industrial purposes.  As proposed, the WestWing Recycling & Transfer Facility would be a modern and best-in-class mid-point for the transfer of local municipal solid waste, recyclables, green waste and construction and demolition waste, material.  And it would be located next to a large power station!

Despite these measures, some neighbors remain opposed.  They complain that the facility – the same size as a CVS – will be an eyesore and that it will halt all development near the proposed site or harm existing homes. But, recent developments elsewhere in Maricopa County demonstrate that that latter argument opponents band about is as accurate and consistent as San Diego Padres relief pitcher, and current Peoria Sports Complex occupant, Craig Stammen, meaning not very.

To the east in Scottsdale near the large Scottsdale Transfer Station, which is located a stone’s throw away from well-known residential communities such as McCormick Ranch, Gainey Ranch, and Paradise Park Manor, a developer recently received approval to build a retirement community for HUNDREDS of residents just a third of a mile away from that city’s transfer station.

Yes, you read that correctly:  retirees are going to be moving next door to a waste transfer facility.  In North Scottsdale.  Don’t believe us?  Check it out here:

Reality belies the claims and falsehoods being tossed around in Peoria.

As we’ve said before, when operated responsibly, waste and transfer facilities are effectively non-existent infrastructure.  There is no doubt that Republic Services, which has received national accolades for its work and culture, and creates thousands of jobs for Arizonans, is a responsible operator.

It would be wrong to suggest Republic Services has been perfect in its approach to this project.  That being said, it has hosted numerous town halls and open houses on the proposal which would play a very important role in preserving recycling programs in the Northwest Valley. It has dispelled rumors and inaccuracies, and employees have been honest about the numerous benefits such a facility will bring with it.

Growth that is occurring in northern Peoria has its benefits, and requirements. Though not glamourous disposal infrastructure is part of that. The results need not be negative. In fact, Scottsdale’s facility suggests just the opposite. As would be the case in Peoria too