‘Tired of it:’ Residents concerned as recycling company looks at East Winter Garden

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A recycling company called PureCycle Technologies wants to start operations in a facility in East Winter Garden.

It’s mission is to transform the world’s recycling industry, but East Winter Garden residents said it will be to their detriment.

Residents are telling the company, “Not in my backyard.”

[TRENDING: Professional dancer loses legs after contracting meningococcal meningitis infection | Museum Day: How to get free admission to Central Florida museums | Enter to win Kroger grocery gift card | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

Austin Arthur is secretary and treasurer of One Winter Garden. It’s a local advocacy group for the revitalization efforts of the East Winter Garden community.

“It’s bad for East Winter Garden, we shouldn’t have that garbage next to residents, and we don’t want it here,” Arthur said.

Arthur said the recycling plant’s operations could be harmful to the health of those who live nearby. He believes it will create traffic, hyper-pollution and ultimately, bring “trash” to the neighborhood.

“Maybe it’s sorted plastics, presorted, but it’s still trash. It’s people’s former garbage. That’s not what we want a stone throw away from this community from these houses,” Arthur said.

Arthur said the neighborhood is predominantly Black and an under-resourced community that has been disregarded for too long.

“There’s a history of taking advantage of these folks, and they’re tired of it,” Arthur said.

Chloe Johnson Brunson, vice president of One Winter Garden, said the recycling plant won’t be good for their community.

“We’re trying to move forward, and it’s like we keep getting pushed back, but we’re going to do what we have to do,” Brunson said.

This is not the group’s first fight for ‘environmental justice.’

In February, News 6 reported that Orange County Public Schools proposed a plan to construct a bus depot with 200 bus parking spots across from the PureCycle plant.

Residents raised their voices in opposition to halt the project and they’re doing the same thing this time.

“The point of the group really is to work on the revitalization, not to be constantly fighting things, but what we started to find is that’s all that’s happening. We’re wasting all our time and resources fighting things that don’t belong there,” Arthur said.

Winter Garden city commissioners are on their side.

In a commission meeting on July 28, commissioners discussed the recycling company.

The city attorney read resolution 22-09, which is a resolution initiating conflict resolution procedures with Orange County.

Winter Garden City Manager Jon Williams reminded the city commission of their request in May, directing the city attorney and staff to file an appeal relating to prevention of the operation of PureCycle Technologies — also, if necessary, filing a lawsuit until the city has a dispute resolution in place.

The city’s original concerns are with PureCycle’s environmental impacts: their use, impact on the city’s water supply, public access reuse, Lake Apopka and residents in East Winter Garden.

News 6 Reporter Treasure Roberts reached out to the company for details on their operation. PureCycle responded to News 6 Thursday with an invitation for a tour.

Brunson said she has one question for PureCycle Technologies.

“…Would you want to live in a residential area where you have a 24 hour dump right in the back of your neighborhood?” Brunson said.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

Related Posts