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Community should welcome Rumpke

Many residents cry for the need for jobs, jobs, jobs here in Lawrence County. But, when an opportunity comes up, the whole "not in my backyard" mentality often surfaces.

So it went earlier this year when residents began to speak out against Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc.'s plans to build a $3 million solid waste transfer and recycling station in Hamilton Township.

While we share the concerns of these residents who want their community to remain a beautiful place to live, our belief is that the entire county should welcome with open arms Rumpke, its $1.5 million annual payroll and its 30 new jobs that would be created.

Economic development does not come along every day. While we certainly want to be careful whom we allow to come into our community, we don't want to approach the concept with such a closed mind that it impedes any sort of growth or progress.

Rumpke officials insist they will be good corporate citizens. Gauging from their facility in Ashland, Ky., there is no reason to believe otherwise. The site may not win any beauty pageants but it doesn't look any worse than most other industrial sites.

The region of County Road 1A where Rumpke hopes to move to by summer 2006, pending EPA approval, is already home to Duke Energy, Dow Chemical, Aristech and Sun Coke. So, it is not like there are that many residential homes in the area that would be disturbed in the officials estimates are correct that the facility would process 25-30 tons of recyclables daily and 750 to 1,000 tons of solid waste each month.

Regardless, adding a recycling facility to this industrial alley does not seem like such a stretch. We do not see other businesses lining up for this property. Plus, if all goes well, the county's port authority would still have 30 acres nearby to market.

It is important that people remember, Rumpke is not planning on opening a dump or landfill. The proposed facility would be enclosed and shielded from public eye.

We just hope residents keep their eyes open to the big picture and realize that you can't have jobs in you back yard without having industry in the front yard.