The operator of RTR — known locally as “Fast Trash” — is looking to reopen in a new location, but first he needs a zoning permit.
Last month, Mike Marshall stopped operating RTR at its long-standing location on East River Road behind Maplewoods Convenience Store. Now, he is looking to reopen on Route 2 on the north end of town in the space previously occupied by Better Power Equipment.
In 2018, Dave Demers closed the doors of Better Power Equipment after 33 years selling tractors, mowers, trimmers and other equipment. Henry Parro bought the property, which Marshall identified as a good place to relocate his business.
Marshall said his lease at the River Road location expired, but the new space would be an improvement.
“It will be a lot easier to get in and out of there,” Marshall said. “Sometimes, when something bad happens, something good ends up happening.”
Marshall approached Parro about the location, and “we had a preliminary conversation that went well,” Parro said. “A couple of days later, I got a call from the town saying the property is not zoned for recycling.”
According to Dina Bookmyer-Baker, Waterbury’s zoning administrator, the property is in an industrial zone. For a recycling center there, Parro needs a conditional-use permit, which is required for any use designated as “general industry.” The zoning definition of “general industry” includes “any facility handling or processing solid waste and/or recyclable material.”
Parro said he has not yet applied for a permit, and wants to talk with municipal officials first.
“If I change it now, can I change it back?” he asked. “What if I want to rent part of Better Power for commercial retail use, but it was rezoned for recycling? How will that work?”
Ultimately, the change would need the approval of the Waterbury Development Review Board, which meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month; permit applications are required one month before a given meeting.
Marshall said that, if he can relocate, he’d keep the RTR name and the same hours as at his previous location — open Tuesday through Saturday — and accept everything he did at the old site, including appliances, construction debris and tires.
If the business does open, it will be second recycling center in Waterbury that is open multiple days a week. On Saturday, Rodney Companion expects to reopen service at the old RTR location under the name Rodney’s Rubbish Removal.
Previously, Companion was open on Saturdays behind Crossroads Beverage on North Main Street. In his new location — with upgrades that will include a new driveway, and more parking for bottle redemption — Companion will be open Wednesday through Saturday.
— Josh O’Gorman