GORHAM – The Town Council voted Tuesday night to allow R.J. Grondin & Sons to move 5,000 tons of trash from the closed Plan-It Recycling & Transfer facility on Route 25 to a former town landfill on Huston Road.

The unanimous vote was preceded by a packed public hearing during which about a dozen neighbors of the landfill pleaded with the council not to let the trash be buried in their backyards. “Do the right thing” was their mantra.

Brenda Stoudt, who lives on Huston Road, said after the vote that she felt ignored and “disappointed totally.”

The agreement for Grondin, a construction company in Gorham, to buy the site for $175,000 from Plan-It’s mortgage holders and move the trash to the former landfill was negotiated in court recently. The plan is still contingent on approvals from the Gorham Planning Board, the state Department of Environmental Protection and a judge.

The town and the DEP sued Plan-It Recycling & Transfer about a year ago for exceeding the amount of trash allowed on its site. A judge in January ordered that the company take in no more material, effectively shutting down the business, which has no money to contribute to the cleanup.

Plan-It Recycling & Transfer, which processed and recycled trash, opened at the site in 2004.

The piles off Route 25 are mostly construction and demolition debris. The DEP does not suspect there is any hazardous waste, but it has said that the piles are a fire hazard and could produce run-off if left there too long.

The town’s other option for removing the eyesore would be to haul it to a commercial landfill, which would cost about $750,000, said Town Manager David Cole.

Residents near the landfill, who fear contamination of their properties, said Tuesday that they gladly would pay extra in taxes to avoid that risk. The DEP, Grondin and an environmental inspector hired by the town and paid for by Grondin will continue to test the trash at the site before it is moved.

Grondin’s plan is to move the trash this winter to the landfill, which is behind the town’s public works garage and was closed in 1996.

Owens McCullough, Grondin’s engineer, said it will take about 1,500 truck trips over a 60-day period to complete the job.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: [email protected]