Walt Neidlinger spent years trying to keep a Wal-Mart-anchored shopping complex from being built near his Wind Gap home.
The traffic would have been suffocating for their little community, neighbors argued, so when the massive retailer and its partners packed up their plans and left Plainfield Township last year, Neidlinger was ecstatic.
There was just one problem. While Neidlinger and his fellow snobs were assiduous in attending planning and development meetings, and making their opposition to big box stores known, they were less than diligent about checking the zoning status of the Wal-Mart site. It was already classed "industrial."
So they got a metal shredding and auto recycling plant instead.
The noise is a constant nuisance and the explosions make our windows shake," Neidlinger said. … RPM takes in 300 tons of scrap a day. The scrap includes everything from appliances to bicycles, but is mostly crushed cars. The scrap must arrive without batteries and fuel tanks. After the shredder slices it into small pieces, the foam, plastic, cardboard and other "fluff" is separated. … [O]n Aug. 9, fire swept through the 300 tons of fluff and scrap, sending a thick plume of black smoke over Neidlinger's and Hendershot's homes and bringing more than 100 firefighters from 18 stations.
But at least it's not Wal-Mart.