The area around the Lakewood-Howell, NJ, border currently stands out for its green, serene and picturesque character. That is in danger of coming to an abrupt halt if a proposal to place a garbage dump in that area is approved by Monmouth County.
Under the proposal, a 33,000 square foot facility and maintenance garage will be built on 34 Randolph Road in Howell, just off Squankum Road. That facility will be able to process a staggering 1,200 tons of garbage each day. This would dump upon the area – which is close to the thriving Northern Howell and immediately adjacent to the Lakewood neighborhoods of Coventry, the Estates, Squankum, Somerset, Whispering Pines, Brookhill and Raintree – heavy odors, pollution, noise and a steady stream of major truck traffic.
In addition, this facility would likely process much of Ocean County’s waste – particularly construction and demolition debris – which is currently processed by government contractors along with household waste. This would significantly raise the cost per ton for Lakewood and other Ocean County townships to process its household waste, which will significantly hurt taxpayers.
This proposal is unfortunately pretty far down the pipeline. It has been recommended for approval by the Monmouth County Solid Waste Advisory Council, and is pending a final vote by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders this Thursday, July 27th.
If you want to preserve your neighborhoods, speak up now. It can still be stopped. There will be only one public hearing on this matter, shortly before the vote. The hearing will take place on Thursday, 1 PM, at the Monmouth County Hall of Records, Freeholders Meeting Room, located at 1 East Main Street in Freehold.
The Howell portion of the affected area is lightly populated. Howell residents and public officials are strongly opposed to the facility, yet many are afraid to speak up and, in any case, cannot present a massive show of force. On the other hand, there are thousands of Lakewood residents that will be hurt by having a garbage dump behind their house. And it affects every Ocean County property tax payer.
Furthermore, it is speculated that the peculiar location of the proposed facility has been deliberately selected in order to discourage Lakewood residents from purchasing homes in Howell – an unacceptable and additional affront to our community.
If there is any chance for the public outcry to stop this proposal, it is imperative that Howell and Lakewood residents show up in force and make their voices heard.