Jackson County legislators could decide in coming weeks whether to allow Deffenbaugh Industries to build a solid waste transfer station in Blue Summit.

Jackson County legislators could decide in coming weeks whether to allow Deffenbaugh Industries to build a solid waste transfer station in Blue Summit.


Several parties have lined up on both sides of the issue. County staff recommended approval of a permit for Deffenbaugh, but the Plan Commission last month voted 5-4 against it. Neither of those is binding on the County Legislature.


The Legislature’s Land Use Committee is holding a hearing on the issue at 2 p.m. Friday in the Legislature’s second-floor meeting room at the Courthouse at 415 E. 12th St. in downtown Kansas City.


Legislator Fred Arbanas, D-Lee’s Summit, said he’s not sure which way it will go and that he himself has not yet made up his mind.


“I think you could go either way on it,” he said.


Deffenbaugh wants to build a $2 million facility, a large metal building, on a 6-acre site on Television Place just north of 23rd Street. It would operate six days a week. The trucks that roll through neighborhoods picking up trash and recyclables would drop their loads at the transfer station, where material is sorted and then shipped out. That’s generally cheaper than sending those packed trucks straight to a landfill or recycling center.


Several in the area have raised objections, saying all of those trucks will tear up the streets and worsen congestion there. A school bus company, First Student, has a nearby lot with about 90 school buses that head out and come back in the morning and again in the afternoon.


The company, at a Plan Commission hearing last month, said it has addressed many of the concerns. The work will be done in an enclosed building, and misters will help control odors.


County staff says that although the station would put more traffic on Television Place, it would actually mean fewer trucks overall on Interstates 435 and 70 and through downtown Kansas City, meaning less wear and tear on roads and less air pollution. Deffenbaugh hauls trash to a landfill in Johnson County and recyclables to a facility in Kansas City, Kan.


Some other trash-and-recycling companies told the Plan Commission the transfer station would give Deffenbaugh an advantage over them in the marketplace, but the company says it is more focused on lowering its own costs than hurting competitors.


The cities of Sugar Creek and Independence also have opposed the permit. Independence cited concerns about litter, congested traffic and the hazards associated with a winding road on a hill.


Deffenbaugh also would need a state permit to proceed.