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Gary compost site, medical waste business win OKs

Updated: December 15, 2012 6:16AM



GARY ­— The Board of Zoning Appeals approved special use variances for a yard waste compost site on the city’s east side and a medical waste business on its west side following public hearings on Tuesday.

Heartland Recycling LLC, based in Forest View, Ill., sought approval to operate a yard waste compost business on a 37-acre site at Central Avenue and Colorado Street. Thomas A. Volini, Heartland’s owner, said the business would be called Greenland Farms and Compost Supply, and employ five to 10 workers.

He said yard waste, such as grass and leaves, would be trucked to the business from Gary, Lake Station and other municipalities and turned into compost that will be resold to nurseries and landscapers.

Once the material is screened and grinded, Volini said it will be placed in narrow windrows to decompose over a six-month to one-year period. It’s essentially used as topsoil material when composted, Volini said.

Volini said the city previously rejected Heartland’s bid to locate the business on Clark Road, opting to keep it available for industrial use.

The BZA also awarded a use variance to 9th Avenue Partners LLC to operate a medical waste disposal business at 6602 W. 9th Ave.

Pete Lindemulder, of 9th Avenue Partners, said the business will create jobs and commerce in the area.

Resident James Nowacki objected to both businesses. He said the compost site was too close to Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center and children there would be subjected to odor from the compost.

“We’ve developed a reputation in this city. It’s like anything goes whether it’s yard waste or medical waste. We’ve gotten into the habit of looking at our city as a waste dump,” he said.

Resident Richard Brown, who lives near the medical waste site, said he supported the variance for the business.

Both Heartland and 9th Avenue Partners need approval from the City Council. Heartland also needs a permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.



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