Onsite Environmental, a company that operates an environmental services company that focuses on treating waste as fuel, is at the center of a neighborhood controversy. Onsite Environmental recycles grease and other nonhazardous liquids from Nashville restaurants.
According to officials, new environmental regulations require that the facility move its operation indoors to eliminate odor and improve environmental standards. The company decided that it would be easier to relocate and make those improvements as opposed to renovating its current location.
Onsite wants to move from Baptist World Center Drive and to the Whites Creek Pike/ Haynes-Trinity neighborhood, but some area residents are against the move.
On Tuesday, the Haynes-Trinity Neighborhood Coalition held a community meeting with representatives from Onsite.
At the meeting, residents expressed concerns about the move fearing that the non-hazardous waste plant would have a negative impact on health, traffic, and bring an odor to the area. They also expressed skepticism about “foul odors and unsanitary grounds that could occur next to Pages Branch Creek”.
“You say odors will be contained in the building,” said a neighborhood representative. “How will they contain those odors, they have to go somewhere,”
“The odors will be collected and processed within the facility with a scrubber,” answered a senior engineer with Onsite. “The odors will be treated so they will not escape.”
Area residents are also concerned about their property values.
“Our home values are already depressed due to the Quarry and its loud shaking blasts and the antiquated asphalt plant that pollutes the air,” said neighborhood representatives, afraid that the relocation of the plant could hinder the development of commercial and retail shops in the historical neighborhoods.
Area councilman, Decosta Hastings, assured attendees that all questions will be answered, but also let members know that the move is inevitable because the proposed site is already zoned for the recycling of grease and liquids and council members would have to approve it.
When asked whether or not the Jackson Law could prevent the facility from relocating, Tom White, the attorney for Onsite replied, “This business can relocate where they want to relocate whether this bill is passed or not, the grease componenet is not subject to the Jackson law.”
There are two other components that the facility treats that would be subject to the Jackson law, which require the proposed zoning change. However, Onsite officials say that they will go forward regardless, and try to satisfy those issues after the move.
Onsite representatives addressed concerns saying that the new facility will be better for the community and that it will be “modern and totally enclosed.”
“All loading and unloading will be inside, and Onsite Environmental does not accept any hazardous waste,” he said.