Baltimore's Board of Estimates approved a 20-year deal yesterday that allows a private waste-hauling company to open and operate a trash transfer station at the closed Bowleys Lane Landfill near Herring Run Park in East Baltimore.
One formality must be resolved before Eastern Shore Environmental Inc. can build the facility: The property has to be rezoned. The site at 6101 Bowleys Lane is zoned for residential use, despite the fact that a landfill operated there until 1980.
"The zoning has to be changed so the facility can be built there," said Public Works Director George L. Winfield, who sits on the five-member Board of Estimates. "It could be a long, drawn-out process."
The board unanimously passed the measure yesterday without discussion at either its pre-meeting or its formal session. The transfer station would be able to accept and ship out 2,000 tons of waste daily, Winfield said.
Leon Bonnell, a board member of the Armistead Homes Corp., which represents a neighborhood near the location, said he was unaware of the transfer station plans.
"This is the first I've heard of it," Bonnell said. "That's a little too much trash."
The Bowleys Lane site is now used as a parking facility for city trash trucks and is one of the city's five sites where residents can drop off waste. Winfield said the only transfer station used by city trucks is in Northwest Baltimore. The proposed East Baltimore facility would accept trash from city trucks, which would help the city save money on travel costs, Winfield said.
The company, which approached the city with the idea, would continue to accept residential drop-off trash and also recyclable material.
The city now disposes of its trash at the privately owned Baltimore Refuse to Energy System Co. energy-producing incinerator on Russell Street, and at the landfill on Quarantine Road near Key Bridge. City trucks dump their loads at the northwest transfer station on Reisterstown Road, which then ships it to those locations.
The 20-year agreement with Eastern Shore Environmental would guarantee the city a 2 percent share of the company's gross revenues with a minimum of $100,000 annually for 20 years. The city's share would increase by half a percentage point, or a minimum of $25,000, in each of the two 10-year renewable clauses spelled out in the deal.
"It's a win-win for the city," Winfield said.