Recycling center won't be opening in Norwalk

The lot where a proposed recycling center sought to open. Photo by Alex Dominguez

The lot where a proposed recycling center sought to open. Photo by Alex Dominguez

NORWALK – The Norwalk City Council voted on Tuesday to uphold the Planning Commission’s decision to deny a request to establish a recycling center on Rosecrans Avenue.

Applicant Malik Ahmad ran into a brick wall when his proposed recycling center came before the Planning Commission back in February, being struck down by a unanimous 5-0 vote.

Had it been approved, the center proposed center would have operated in the parking area of 11018-11030 Rosecrans Ave from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Sunday.

However, its location was a key factor in the project’s initial denial, as staff found the area to already be plagued by high volumes of transient activity, resulting in other issues such as trespassing, drinking in public, petty theft, and other public safety concerns.

There are also several noise and odor concerns, especially due to the residential neighborhood that immediately neighbors the site.

Now facing the council, Ahmad projected a willingness to cooperate with the city to quell any concerns that they may have.

“I want to work with you and the city to find solutions to any hesitation and possible obstacles that may occur with the placement of this recycling center,” said Ahmad. “I know with your guidance and my drive I can help improve the lives of the residents of Norwalk.”

“I will work with the City of Norwalk to maintain a well operated business that serves Norwalk and its constituents. I will run a clean, well operated recycling center in Norwalk…Because it is in my vested interest to ensure a safe, clean environment for my customers, I feel the need to make sure a safe, clean, and family friendly environment.

Ahmad urged the council to establish whatever conditions they saw fit – including lighting, security and parking lot needs - promising that he would meet those expectations.

“All I ask is for one year to prove that this recycle center will be a benefit to the community,” said Ahmad.

Public support was a mixed bag, with several individuals speaking up against the project – citing many of the same aforementioned concerns – and those in favor claiming a community need and a willingness to give Ahmad a chance, if even just for six months to a year.

Despite this, the decision to deny the appeal came rather quickly and silently, with a unanimous 5-0 vote.