Knoxville recycling company denied zoning change

Knoxville recycling company denied zoning change after stop work orders

Posted:
TDEC has also issued violation notices to Greenphalt and tells the company it must stop operations. TDEC has also issued violation notices to Greenphalt and tells the company it must stop operations.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Greenphalt, a company that claims it's recycling used roofing shingles for road asphalt, tried to get zoning approval for a dump site at Wednesday's Metropolitan Planning Commission meeting.

But neighbors were at the meeting, too, and they don't like what's going on.

Planning commissioners say the failed zoning change wouldn't have made a difference because the company doesn't have a solid waste permit from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

The property owner's lawyer spoke on their behalf at the meeting, saying none of the equipment to recycle the material has been obtained.

The company doesn't have the necessary permits either, at the state or local levels.

"Had they inquired as to the permits that were needed, the proper zoning that was needed, and met those conditions prior to opening, we would never have issued the notice of violation, the stop work order," said City of Knoxville Zoning Coordinator Anita Cash.

TDEC has also issued violation notices to Greenphalt and tells the company it must stop operations.

"All disposal of solid waste at this site must be stopped. All solid waste must be removed to either an appropriate recycling, processing and/or permitted disposal facility," reads the notice to Greenphalt owners.

The company was even notified a second time by TDEC for failure to comply.

Owners say they've tried to conform to the rules, but have made no progress.

"We have been misinformed and misguided by every department we have dealt with. We have been proactive in trying to make this correct and we can't get through a process," said Greenphalt owner Ron Schmidt.

At the site Wednesday, there were still trucks dropping off loads.

Neighbors say they've had it with the piles of shingles and roofing refuse.

"It has definitely de-valued my property. I would have trouble renting it and definitely wouldn't be able to sell it. It's such a blight. I've got seven properties in the neighborhood and three within sight of it," Glen Shiflet said.

When asked if he plans to cease operations after the zoning change request was denied, Schmidt said, "No comment."

Neighbors say the site has been used for a similar purpose in the past. They also say it was once the home to a tire recycling facility, which caught fire in 2009.

We're told if the sites aren't cleaned-up, it will be the landowners' responsibility to do so.

Greenphalt is leasing the properties from two owners.

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