According to testimony, National Container will have six fewer employees and about the same number of tractor-trailers coming and going as when Custom Non-Woven was operating on the site.

Slemmer said about 10 tractor-trailers a day will come and go at the plant, which will have 20 employees on two shifts, between 6:30 a.m. and 11 p.m., plus a Saturday morning shift.

 He said most trucks traffic will be in the mornings, with almost none after 3 p.m.

But Wilburn said in a previous meeting with National Container, his organization was told the number of trucks could vary from eight to 15 a day.

He said residents also were told some truck drivers may sleep in their cabs overnight at the proposed plant. He said engine noise and diesel fumes are annoying and a health issue.

Wilburn also said Sherman Street is narrow and trucks cause traffic tie-ups when they attempt to enter or exit it.

He said tractor-trailers go over curbs and onto sidewalks and even have knocked down utility poles at the intersection of N. Sherman and Union Boulevard.

 He said it’s an intersection where children cross the street on their way to Ritter Elementary School and older children wait for buses to get to their schools.

Schweyer, whose home faces Sherman Street, told zoners: “Our homes literally shake when these trucks go up and down the street.”

Hernandez said his vehicle was struck by tractor-trailers going into the plant when it was operated by Custom Non-Woven.

Several objectors said the operation should relocate into an industrial park that has roads built to accommodate tractor-trailers and no homes nearby.

The plant has a potential alternate access from Quebec Street on its west side, but that will require a lease with Norfolk Southern to cross its former railroad tracks.


“We have more than 50 years of experience in container reconditioning,” said Slemmer, who is facility manager for National Container in Quakertown.

He explained his company reconditions 275-gallon and 330-gallon containers for resale.

The containers were described as tubular “blow-molded bottles” – made of plastic -- inside steel cages.

Slemmer said businesses use the containers instead of drums, explaining the 330-gallon container takes the place of six drums.

“Anything liquid can be put in these containers,” he said, adding many handled by his company contain adhesives, paints “and that sort of thing.”

He said some of their larger customers are Sherwin-Williams, Henkel Adhesives and Lubrizol Corp.

Slemmer said arriving containers have been “emptied to a certain level.”

Wilburn said residents cannot get clear answers about the residue that still will be in containers coming to the plant.

 “They know what they do,” testified Schilling. “They only have a handful of customers. They know the particular chemicals they have. They should have been more forthcoming.”

 “We clean those containers with water,” said Slemmer. “We do not use chemicals in the operation.” He said that water will go into the city’s sanitary sewer system.

About 40 percent of the containers are not reused.

Slemmer said that includes the inner bottles of containers, including those containing road paint. They are cut up and shipped to a recycler, who salvages the plastic. He said damaged cages are sent to scrap dealers.