Citing noxious odors and unacceptable threats to their health and safety, more than 150 Deer Valley, Ariz., area residents and businesses are filing petitions today (Aug. 24) demanding that the city’s Board of Adjustment shut down the Green Earth Recycling facility.
Mulching facility opponents plan to deliver their petitions to the Phoenix Board of Adjustment at 2 p.m. today in the Phoenix City Hall building, according to a release from the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
The Phoenix Board of Adjustment denied Green Earth’s request for a three-year temporary use permit on July 8, but the company is appealing the denial. A Board of Adjustment hearing will be held at noon Sept. 3rd in Phoenix City Council Chambers, during which time Deer Valley residents and businesses plan to voice their opposition to Green Earth’s mulching operations.
Located in Phoenix, the Green Earth recycling facility has been operating since last summer in violation of existing zoning regulations. Petitioners say the open-air facility frequently blankets Deer Valley area RV parks and businesses with noxious fumes and airborne particles that have been known to cover parked cars and driveways with as much as a quarter of an inch or more of dust.
Deer Valley area businesses have written to city officials complaining that their employees are calling in sick as a result of the fumes and dust from the Green Earth facilty. Local RV park residents complain they cannot take walks, sit on their porches or enjoy other outside activities because of the fumes and dust, according to Arizona ARVC. Some RV park residents who signed the petition also say have had to seek hospital treatment as a result of the fumes and dust.
“Fumes from the Green Earth mulching facility are killing our business,” said Saundra Bryn, managing director partner of Desert’s Edge RV – The Purple Park, which, until now, has been a winter home for as many as 500 snowbirds. “Instead of booking reservations for the upcoming winter season, I spend my days fielding questions from past guests about whether the city has done anything to shut down and relocate the mulch recycling facility. This is tragic for us since we have long been one of the highest rated RV parks in the country.”
“The arrival of Green Earth and their composting activities have clearly ruined the air quality in this area,” said Maggie Torres, a Desert’s Edge RV resident and petition signer who said she has had to seek hospital treatment as a result of airborne pollution from Green Earth’s mulching operations.
Torres added that it’s not just snowbirds who are affected by the recycling facility, but year-round residents.
“We have residents here at Desert’s Edge RV that work and have jobs. We have children here, too. It’s not just elderly people,” she said, adding that the Green Earth facility needs to be relocated to a remote area, away from people.
Arizona tourism officials say they are concerned about the effects of the recycling plant on the snowbird business in Phoenix.
“It’s apparent that the recycling plant is not only causing concern for public health, but it poses a significant economic threat to the city of Phoenix because it is prompting snowbirds to consider leaving the city for other winter destinations,” said Jo Ann Mickelson, executive director of the Arizona ARVC.