Mableton Residents Fight to Keep Trash Out of Their Community

Mableton residents are fighting to keep a construction and debris transfer station from accepting solid waste just 1,000 feet from their homes.

A group of Mableton residents have organized to keep trash out of their community. Incensed that a waste transfer station, which would generate 150,000 tons of household waste annually, has been approved for their backyards, they are fighting to keep it out.

The Bankhead C & D Transfer Station, LLC is located at 1480 Veterans Memorial Highway, east of Discovery Boulevard. The waste station is already approved to operate as a construction and debris industrial site, but has applied for a special land use permit to accept municipal solid waste, which is household garbage.

County commissioners voted in December to allow the trash center to continue its requests for rezoning and for garbage acceptance on site until a Feb. 21 public hearing.

Residents of the Legacy at River Line subdivision, a portion of which is within 1,000 feet of the proposed transfer station, have held two community meetings to address the issue and are circulating a petition, which has already garnered 600 signatures.

Approximately 50 concerned citizens attended the last community meeting, held Wednesday. They are encouraging others to oppose the project and to attend the Feb. 21 public hearing at 9 a.m. in the BOC meeting room at 100 Cherokee Street in Marietta.

What do you think should be done about the Bankhead Waste Transfer Station? Leave your comments below.

Decreased Property Values a Concern

Leigh Anne Rehkopf, a Mableton resident who lives east of the proposed transfer station, said the transfer station would greatly decrease property values of homes nearby.

The homes of Legacy at River Line range from the high $200,000s to the $300,000s, according to the subdivision’s website.

The transfer station’s application to accept garbage stated that the station would bring in $10,000 to $12,000 in property taxes, the equivalent to property taxes generated from about three or four homes in the surrounding communities.


‘Inherent Incompatibility’ Between Trash Center and Residential Areas

According to the Development of Regional Impact application for the station, the Atlanta Regional Commission found the transfer station to be “in the best interest of the region and therefore the state.”

“I can’t think of anyone in the community who would think this would be good,” Rehkopf said.

Ben Clopper of the Mableton Improvement Coalition–which is opposed to the transfer station– said “a trash transfer station is inappropriate” in that location because the area is surrounded by retail centers, homes and grocery stores, not heavy industrial.

In a letter to , Clopper writes that transfer stations should be separated from residential areas due to “the inherent incompatibility between the handling of large amounts of trash and people enjoying their homes.”

Within 1,000 feet of the planned transfer station location are more than 35 single family homes and 15 townhomes, according to Clopper’s letter.

Within a mile of the location are two convenience stores, two retail shopping centers, one adjacent to the property of the planned transfer station and another being zoned across the street from it.

“The Board of Commissioners spent the last 10 years approving rezonings along Veterans Memorial from industrial to residential, and this is going completely the opposite direction,” Clopper told South Cobb Patch.


Accepting Garbage without a Permit

 The transfer station, which has not been approved to accept municipal solid waste, was cited for accepting MSW on Jan. 5, 2011. The Bankhead C & D Transfer Station has continued to accept MSW during the nine months before it applied for the special land use permit to accept household trash and during the four months after submitting the permit, Clopper explained.

The operators of the waste center included plans to minimize the center’s odors.


Green Street Properties Lawyer Represents Transfer Station

Garvis Sams, the lawyer representing Green Street Properties, is representing the Bankhead C & D Transfer Station.

Green Street Properties is the developer creating a, a mile and a half from the waste center. In 2009, a plan for a similar trash center was opposed by the community and later denied by commissioners.  The property owner has now been allowed to operate a recycling center in the area through mediation after suing the county.

Residents felt this option was preferable to the originally proposed trash center.


Historical Resources to be Affected

According to the application from Bankhead Transfer Station, the transfer station project would affect local historic resources, specifically the Turner-Sewell Cemetery.

“The subject property is located within the MRPA corridor. The Turner-Sewell Cemetery is on site and will be preserved with fencing and buffering,” the application states.

Additionally, others in opposition feel the transfer station is too close to the river and could be environmentally hazardous.


South Cobb Patch will provide continuous coverage of this issue, so check back often for updates.

Julie L February 07, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Thank you for the informative article! I live near the Buckhead Transfer Station and am thankful that you have pointed out the tax revenue discrepancy. Based on your figures, the residential tax revenue benefits far outweigh this one industrial exposure's potential tax revenue. How likely are we to see continued residential growth (and far much more tax dollars) if this rezoning is approved? Although other comments question the logic of placing residential homes so near commercial exposure, I think it is important to point out that the zoning request is to change from commercial to heavy industrial. I purchased my home partially because of the convenient location and I am happy being near businesses; it saves me time and ensures my dollar votes go back into my community. However, the heavy industrial zoning is beyond the scope of what I want in my backyard. Thank you for bringing attention to this important issue!
Yoann Barbosa February 07, 2012 at 06:24 PM
If the petition is approved, this will be a step back in the so call "revitalization" of the area. Most of the transition projects that helped built residences and retail areas were also approved by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners should visit the area so they can have a sense of the proximity of this station to our homes. Not only the quality of the air we breath will be impacted, but we will also be exposed to insects, rodents, birds, and other disease carrying animals that like to hang around places like this.
Lisa Cupid February 08, 2012 at 03:27 AM
There is strength in numbers. Signing up is great. Showing up is even better. Please attend and encourage your neighbors to attend and speak at the Board of Commissioner Zoning Hearing on Feb. 21 at 9am.
Pam Fyffe February 12, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Something is stinky in Mableton! But I hold hope that once the Commissioners hear all the information they will do the right thing. If they lived here they would see right away that this is not a feasible plan. So please to you all at the Cobb County Commissioners office, won't you drive over and just take a look? I'm sure if you do you will make the decision that is the greatest good for the greatest number. I have faith in you. Pam Fyffe
HeartDoc Andrew March 18, 2013 at 11:54 PM
would not be surprised to see a cluster of several cases of West Nile among the children of the new SAE School that is opening this year just up Riverview road from BTS if they're allowed to proceed with their plans, Just one dead child could result in a multi-million dollar lawsuit that would not only bankrupt BTS but would force the recall of Cobb BOC just as the education crisis in DeKalb forced the removal of their BOE.


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