Petition against Marpal expansion going strong


Staff Writer

TINTON FALLS — The Marpal Inc. reclamation center may not have expanded just yet, but a petition against the company’s plans for additional space and hours has.

The company, operating under the umbrella of Republic Service on Wayside Road, for months now has wanted to nearly double its capacity for refuse, from about 450 tons of bulk trash a day to 800 tons, and extend hours of operation from early morning until 9 p.m. — the present closing time — to midnight.

As Marpal waits for county approval (that could take up to a year), residents from both Middletown and Tinton Falls have mounted opposition to the expansion.

“We have about 760 signatures on a petition now,” said Tinton Falls Council President Jerome Donlon who has spearheaded the effort. “We’re still going strong.”

The petition, he said, was presented to the Monmouth County Solid Waste Advisory Council Sept. 9. The council is an 11-member advisory panel, appointed by the county Board of Freeholders to look into and recommend action on any changes in operation or space concerning private reclamation companies.

After hearing the recommendations, the freeholders decide on a course of action.

Donlon is a member of the waste advisory council, but recused himself from the matter.

“As a resident, I felt I had to do something. The only way I could do that was to recuse myself,” Donlon said.

Middletown residents, including the township’s grassroots Lincroft Greens Association, have joined the fight because Swimming River Road, in the Lincroft section of Middletown, runs into Tinton Falls, and turns into Tinton Avenue and then Wayside Road.

“What has always been a two-lane country road just can’t take any more traffic, especially this type of truck traffic,” Donlon said. “It’s a lot different than soccer moms traversing the area.”

Donlon called the company a good neighbor and said he is not against it being there. He just does not want to see the facility get any larger or have longer hours of operation.

Marpal’s general manager, Richard Maio, has complained that the waste he is storing in his facility is a result of overdevelopment in the area and he is just getting rid of it. He is not the villain, he has said, just a man with a company trying to accommodate an obvious need.

Mayor Ann McNamara, too, has called him a good neighbor, and agreed that the waste has to go somewhere and that overdevelopment is the real problem.

While the Middletown problem with the expansion mainly has to do with traffic, Donlon said Tinton Falls has its share of reclamation centers, with two large ones on Shafto Road already, and has done its part in fulfilling that need.

He wanted to make it clear that it is not a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) complaint. It is a community problem spanning two towns.

“The petition is still growing and there is time to continue the fight,” Donlon added. “Even if the solid waste council made the recommendation not to allow the expansion, it has to go to the freeholders for action, and there will be public hearings we will all attend.”