Scott Kuhnen Owner, Recycling Industries

In response to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 Presidential Elections, Facebook is requiring more information on individuals who are paying for advertising content on their social media platform. Not only will this new application ensure greater transparency during the election season, but will also unmask homegrown conspirators, many of which are business competitors who manipulate the political process in order to choose winners and losers in the marketplace.

This kind of drama is unfolding here in Yuba City. Our family-owned business, Recycling Industries, would like to expand its recycling and transfer station operation by adding a mere 1-acre to our present 3-acre site. Not only would a new transfer station provide the city new jobs and tax revenue, it would also provide the residents of Yuba City the convenience and savings of having a local facility.

Such a project should not be perceived as controversial. However, an anonymous group of so-called concerned citizens called “Stop the Dump,” has launched Facebook ads warning neighbors that a dump (landfill) is coming to their neighborhood. Not only is this not true, the Appeal Democrat’s editorial board said it best, “If you need to bolster opposition by calling it something worse than a transfer station...maybe the transfer station isn’t that bad?”

Fortunately, this campaign of misinformation is falling on deaf ears. When I invited over 200 immediate neighbors to my place of business to introduce my proposed project, not one neighbor attended. Quite frankly, the lack of concern is not surprising. My family’s business is located in an industrial zone, nestled between a saw mill and the city sewer treatment plant, and not located in a residential neighborhood. What’s more, all transfer activity of garbage will occur inside an enclosed building, built on a concrete foundation and transferred to a landfill within 48 hours. It is by no means a dump (landfill).

While there are those who profess to be on and off again architects of Stop the Dump’s Facebook campaign, they are only puppets in a scheme to mislead the public. I believe their puppeteer is most likely a competitor who stands to lose some market share if our transfer station is approved.

One major competitor is Recology. According to public documents, Recology’s lobbyist, Smart Marketing, is pressuring the city council and staff to deny my project, and even sue the city if their intimidation tactics do not work. At this point if Recology is not behind the “Stop the Dump” campaign, I would call upon them to denounce the actions of “Stop the Dump,” as they are well aware that the proposed transfer station is NOT a dump.

I am confident that the city will do the right thing. The project is properly zoned for an industrial center and an extensive environmental review found that the enclosed nature of the project would not have any measurable impact on the community in terms of smell or traffic. If the project is rejected, Yuba City stands to lose a project that promises new jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in new tax revenue for public services such as public safety, roads and parks.

It’s time for the public to recognize that “Stop the Dump” is not a citizen led group. The longer they ignore this reality, political pressure will mount on the city council to vote against the public’s best interests. This is something residents cannot afford.

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