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The Tonawanda Town Board Monday gave Browning-Ferris Industries the green light to proceed with a recycling center in the town.

The board approved a performance standard use permit for BFI to operate the facility at 2321 Kenmore Ave. Required permits from the state Department of Environmental Conservation now are the only impediments to the project.

The site of the proposed center has been a bone of contention since shortly after BFI first submitted an application to the town Planning Board on Sept. 6, 1989.

Residents in the town, Kenmore and Buffalo's Riverside neighborhood, who live near the site, have continually expressed fears that the facility will attract noise, increased truck traffic, odors and rodents to their neighborhoods. A citizens group had hoped to persuade the town to halt approval of the project.

A town-sponsored, state environmental quality review that found the facility would have no significant negative impact on nearby neighborhoods was approved by the Town Board in October. Two public information hearings in February and November further attempted to allay residents' fears.

In addition, the Town Board Monday approved 22 stipulations for the BFI project that were adopted by the Planning Board Nov. 7. They include requirements that:

The facility accept only materials suited for recycling.

The hours of operation not exceed 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Daily cleanup will not go past 7 p.m.

Expansion of facility will require revision of the permit.

The facility will be operated in a manner to avoid odor, noise, rodent, sanitary, environmental or nuisance problems.

Items such as unwashed containers or food-stained papers must be daily removed from the center and must constitute less than 5 percent of the total weight of all the materials that come into the center.

Toxic, hazardous and liquid wastes are banned from the center.

Non-recyclables must be handled in an enclosed building.

Representatives of the town will have unrestricted access to the facility at all times.

A town representative will periodically monitor operations to ensure that stipulations are met.

The Town Board Monday also approved a "host benefit agreement" with BFI that guarantees the town certain economic incentives. Under the agreement, BFI will pay the town $1 a ton on the first 30,000 tons of recyclables it receives annually, $2 a ton up to 60,000 tons, and $3 for per ton over 60,000 tons.

The pact includes an annual cost-of-living adjustment that will increase the payments by half the increase in the Consumer Price Index each year.

Councilman Carl J. Calabrese called the agreement a major victory for town taxpayers because it provides an additional source of revenue and a potential facility for the town's municipal recycling needs.

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