There is a proposal is to create a construction and demolition transfer dump station in the Douglas Park neighborhood of Pleasantville, NJ in Atlantic County. It will accept up to 500 tons of debris a day. Demolition debris is currently handled at the huge 347-acre ACUA (Atlantic County Utilities Authority) campus. This proposal would siphon the business away from ACUA and will likely pollute the air in the Douglas Park neighborhood.
WHAT IS IT
Bulk trash and construction and demolition debris (concrete, building pieces, furniture, carpets, insulation, and more) would come from haulers across the state to the proposed site in Pleasantville, NJ. This can include hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead-based paint, and devices that contain mercury or refrigerants which are currently collected at ACUA. The trash would then be hauled away by train through numerous communities to an out-of-state landfill.
The daily impacts of truck traffic entering the proposed Waste Rail Transfer Facility will be significantly greater than has been represented to the neighbors, residents and officials of Pleasantville, Egg Harbor Twp. and Atlantic County.
The company represents it will only receive 400 tons per day in their application to Atlantic County, in 115 trucks averaging 4 tons per vehicle. In reality, this will bring closer to 300 vehicles per day! The site only has enough space for five trucks to wait in line.
For comparison, on December 17, 2021, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) received 568 tons of C&D and bulky waste delivered in 279 trucks. This equals 2 tons per vehicle and 33 trucks per hour! Many days ACUA can see up to 400 trucks. ACUA only accepts waste generated in Atlantic County, whereas the Pleasantville facility would accept deliveries from anywhere in the state.
Increased traffic brings additional air pollution. Trucks will be idling as they wait to offload their cargo at the small facility. Although NJDEP has regulations that restrict excessive idling (defined as more than 3 minutes), exceptions are made for motor vehicles waiting in a queue. Idling vehicles are responsible for a significant portion of New Jersey’s emissions of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and fine particulates. Overburdened communities already suffer from increased rates of asthma, so locating this facility in the Douglas Park neighborhood will only increase this health strain for the surrounding residents.
The Site is Too Small
The proposed site is too small. It is only 8,000 square feet, which is the same size of a Dollar General Store! This is inadequate to handle 500 tons of material per day as well as two rail cars, an excavator, a pile of trash and a truck dumping.
The project is not designed as a drive through, so each truck will have to backup to dump, causing constant “beep, beep, beep” noises. Clanging of trucks, loaders, rail cars, locomotives will also occur throughout the day and night. Loaded waste rail cars will be stored on the rail line and sides by Noah’s Road, located behind Pleasantville Shopping Center, Spencer’s Gifts and the Atlantic City Cemetery. These rail cars will be moved through downtown Pleasantville every night.
Despite assertions that the facility would not be in a residential area, this map shows that many residents live nearby. The impacts on the neighborhoods around the site in Pleasantville and Egg Harbor Township will be significant.
The Facility isn’t Needed
Atlantic County already has a designated safe disposal site for this material, which is currently the transfer station and landfill in Egg Harbor Township. The Atlantic County Solid Waste Management Plan designated this regional facility in response to the environmental damage caused by numerous negligent dump sites in our state (such as the Price Landfill turned Superfund site that is still being cleaned up today).
This new proposed site will generate profits for private companies at the expense of the Pleasantville community and all Atlantic County residents.
Environmental Justice Issue
This project appears to violate New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Law. This law requires mandatory permit denials if an environmental justice analysis determines a new facility will have a disproportionately negative impact on overburdened communities. We will keep you informed. Learn more about the regulations here.
Pleasantville is already home to Price’s Pit, a former landfill-turned-Superfund site, that was once referred to as the “most serious environmental problem in the United States.” Because the landfill was not properly managed or regulated, industrial chemicals contaminated drinking water. Clean-up work on this site continues to this day.
Video from Community Meeting – Proposed Trash/Transfer Station Pleasantville March 3, 2022