Medical waste site moving ahead
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent December 9, 2012 8:00PM
Updated: December 9, 2012 8:00PM
GARY — While the proposed Heartland Recycling composting facility on Central Avenue was tabled during the Common Council meeting Tuesday, plans for a medical waste facility moved forward.
The council voted 8-1 to issue a use variance to 9th Avenue Partners LLC to operate a medical waste facility at 6602 W. 9th Ave. The Board of Zoning Appeals also approved the variance at its Nov. 13 meeting.
The facility is not a landfill, said Zoning Administrator Joe Van Dyk, but rather a microwave system that resembles a shipping container you would see on a train.
“Their site would house the facility in an existing 160-foot by 80-foot-wide warehouse on West 9th Avenue,” Van Dyk said. “Similar treatment systems are housed outdoors as no emissions emanate from the facility, so the process is pretty innocuous, really.”
Trucking, shipping, and similar light industrial facilities — including a portable toilet company — exist in the proposed area along with some residences about 200 feet down the road, Van Dyk said. As such, those residents as well as the BZA expressed concern as to safety and odor emission.
Councilman Ron Brewer, D-at large, at the meeting said he toured a similar facility in Arlington Heights, Ill., and any original trepidation he felt was put at ease.
Pete Lindemulder, a principal with 9th Avenue Partners, said the company’s next step is to work with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to secure a true operating permit. The process is expected to take between six and nine months.