MILTON, Ga. – Christine Langlands and her family moved to Milton’s Crooked Creek neighborhood this past November for all the right reasons – good schools, safe neighborhoods and proximity to the city.
Unfortunately, for her and some of her neighbors, her home also has proximity to something else – a waste recycling facility. That facility is slated to double in size if it meets Forsyth County’s Board of Commissioners approval.
This is what upsets Langlands and other residents on both sides of the county line.
Advanced Disposal Recycling Services, a prominent garbage collection company in the area, currently uses their 8.6-acre, 36,000-square-foot facility on Shirlee Industrial Way to sort recyclables.
Garbage trucks come in with the trash and they leave with the trash.
The company has asked Forsyth County to double their facility to nearly 76,000 square feet for more recyclables.
Forsyth County planning staff documents show they are in favor of the expansion.
The issue has not yet come before the Planning Commission or the County Commission. No dates are set for either meeting.
The county expects the expansion to generate about 115 new trips a day from garbage trucks, or 7.5 tons of annual waste.
Typically, an issue in Forsyth County does not concern Milton or other Fulton County residents. However, the Advanced Disposal development abuts the county line, backing up to Milton.
“This isn’t right what Advanced Disposal is doing. It’s not good for our environment, our children and is just plain wrong,” Langlands said. “People in Forsyth further up the road near another plant, they have vultures who stop on top of their houses. It’s something we don’t want in the community.”
Rodents, vultures, disease and waste are all things Langlands said “don’t belong here.”
Through chain emails and neighborhood unease, she found out about a resident-led effort to oppose the expansion, called “A Smelly Plan.”
It contains photos it claims are from residents near another facility. Vultures can be seen perching on their home’s rooftops.
“We already have one transfer facility here, there are smarter places to place it,” said Natasha Turner, creator of A Smelly Plan.
She created the group to raise awareness of the issue after neighbors did not know about it. A Change.org petition to appeal the expansion currently has over 1,000 signatures.
The Forsyth County Land Use Plan describes that area as in need of redevelopment or significant improvement, she said.
“It doesn’t really fit in with what Forsyth County wants.”
The Forsyth County Unified Development Code notes that continuous, excessive or repetitive odors are not allowed by businesses.
Langlands and other Crooked Creek residents appealed to the city of Milton to help stop the expansion.
Cities typically do not meddle in the affairs of other governments, and according to Milton Community Development Director Kathleen Field, there is little the city can do.
“When things are on the boundary line, as a courtesy we usually do get informed of action on the boundary line, but we have no authority,” Field said. “All we can do is go and express opposition and hope [Forsyth County] take that under consideration in deciding.”
Field expects to bring the issue before the Milton City Council for them to decide if they wish to formally oppose the new development.
Forsyth County Commissioner Todd Levent will host a public meeting on the issue Thursday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at Midway Warehouse, 4820 Atlanta Highway in Alpharetta. The public is invited to attend.