All may be quiet at the vacant building sitting at 208 Sentry Drive in Mansfield, but the debate over its future is getting louder.
Dallas-based RedAway LLC wants to use the building to store, treat and transfer up to 50 tons of medical waste per day. That includes items like used surgery tools, gloves and swabs, among other things.
People who live and work in the area have raised concerns about having a medical waste treatment center in their backyard, and now Mansfield city council members are raising concerns, too.
“Me, personally, I do not think a medical waste facility is a good fit for the city of Mansfield,” said Mayor David Cook.
On Monday, council members unanimously passed a resolution expressing their opposition to the project and encouraging the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to reject RedAway’s application to register the facility. Without that registration, the facility cannot open.
Cook said despite reading RedAway’s 120 page application and speaking with the company’s CEO, he still has several concerns about the project, including odors, its proximity to schools and what the facility may release into the city’s sewer system.
“In our opinion [RedAway’s application] is inadequate, as far as the information we would need in order to review it as a business and decide whether or not it should be operable in the city of Mansfield,” said Cook.
The city council also passed a 120 day moratorium on issuing any city permits for a medical waste treatment facility.
“It’s really very important for us to do everything we can do to protect our citizens and make sure adequate safeguards are put in place,” said Cook.
Despite these new developments, RedAway CEO Justin Smith said he has no plans to throw in the towel. In an email to NBC 5, he wrote:
“We are very excited to partner with the City of Mansfield and to become a valuable member of the community. The people of Mansfield have inspired us and we look forward to building strong relationships with both city leaders and residents.”
The TCEQ has not yet made a decision on RedAway’s registration application. A spokesperson for the agency said that won’t come until late September at the earliest.
The Mansfield ISD School Board is set to vote on a resolution opposing the project during their meeting Tuesday night. It is expected to pass.