Jackson resident wants answer on use of private land for dumping

Why is an illegal dump in my backyard while the Jackson administration and certain elected officials condone its operation? In April 2011 it came to the attention of three neighborhoods that the owner of JR Custom Landscaping was receiving Jackson residential leaves, trees and debris.

On Dec. 14, 2010, a state Department of Environmental Protection investigator witnessed Jackson DPW trucks hauling leaves and debris to JR Custom Landscaping on Bennetts Mills Road.

The owner and the DPW director were informed by the DEP that this was an illegal action, to immediately cease operation and issued a violation. Over time, JR Custom Landscaping has expanded by purchasing a 20-acre horse farm on East Veterans Highway. Now using both sites, all three neighborhoods increasingly became affected by this illegal operation.

Residents began calling the code enforcement officer when JR Custom Landscaping began operating heavy machinery at 7 a.m., even on weekends.

Then came the stench, and again the township and DEP were notified.

JR Custom Landscaping has now become a recycler/manufacturer of mulch, topsoil and compost without proper zoning authorization, along with the fact that both sites do not conform to Jackson’s master plan nor its zoning code that disallows light manufacturing in a residential zone.

At the April 12 Township Council meeting, residents from three communities surrounding the two JR Custom Landscaping sites presented their concerns and questions as to why this was happening in their backyards.

JR Custom Landscaping was finally shut down on April 19 for further deliveries and was told to clean up their sites within 10 days. As ofApril 22, the landscaper had made no attempt to comply.

With the lack of cooperation by the proper authorities and the obvious inclusion of some township officials, what should we do now?

Elenor M. Hannum Jackson