The City Council has approved an ordinance that allows "the maximum amount of control" over hazardous waste treatment and recycling centers that open within city limits, city officials said Wednesday.
The council unanimously approved the law at Tuesday night's meeting, creating strict regulations and a permit process where none existed before.
"Our (city) code was silent on that type of facility. This gives us the clear ability to apply reasonable standards," Public Works Director Don Vestal said.
The ordinance was approved "to provide the maximum amount of control and protection for our residents," Vestal said.
For example, he said, the law requires extensive public hearings and a citizens' review committee and puts "the burden of proof . . . on the applicant to show that the facility would be capable of safely handling whatever material" it would process.
The ordinance defines the varying distances that would be required between residential neighborhoods and any proposed hazardous-materials recycling center. "Recycling motor oil is quite a different thing from recycling some heavily toxic material," he said.
The ordinance takes effect May 22.