The city of Gary’s plan to locate a disposal and recycling facility for construction and demolition waste just 600 feet from residences won overwhelming support on Feb. 7 in the Indiana House, The Times of Northwest Indiana reports.
House Bill 1318, sponsored by state Rep. Earl Harris, Jr., D-East Chicago, was approved 89-3 and now advances to the Senate.
The measure exempts Gary from a state law that only applies to Lake County, which requires landfills of any kind be located at least a half-mile from the nearest residence, the newspaper reported.
Harris said the proposed construction and demolition disposal site is not a landfill in the traditional sense. Rather, it will hold reclaimed building materials, such as brick, stone and wood, until they can be reused, recycled or permanently disposed of.
Potentially dangerous items removed from abandoned homes, such as appliances, asbestos or hazardous waste, will be taken elsewhere for disposal, he said.
Harris said in the legislature that Gary in coming years is planning to use federal funds to demolish as many as 6,000 abandoned homes throughout the city.
The local disposal site will allow the the city to save upwards of $20 million in tipping fees and transportation costs, and can recover funds from recycled or reused materials
“This will create jobs in the city of Gary and in Northwest Indiana,” Harris said.
The city’s proposal for a construction and demolition disposal site at a still to-be-determined location is distinct from a recent state permit application by Maya Energy LLC, to construct and operate a solid waste processing facility at 2727 W. 35th Ave., in Gary, the newspaper reported.