Removing mountains of trash from a site that’s visible from Route 25 will be a boon to nearby companies and foster development in the area, business owners and Gorham officials say.

Getting rid of the 5,000 tons of trash at the former Plan-It Recycling & Transfer facility — an eyesore at the entrance to Gorham — has been one of the town’s greatest challenges.

“Other than taxes,” the trash piles generate the most complaints from constituents, said Town Councilor Matthew Robinson.

Under a deal worked out in court and approved by the Town Council on Tuesday, R.J. Grondin & Sons of Gorham will buy the site for $175,000 from Plan-It’s mortgage holders and move the trash to a former town landfill on Huston Road.

Officials say the deal comes with little cost to taxpayers and could bring in new business. Before the deal was struck, town officials said it would have cost Gorham about $750,000 to haul the trash to a commercial landfill.

Not everyone was happy. Residents who live near the landfill on Huston Road shook their heads Tuesday as the Town Council signed off on the plan. But business and property owners across town had a different reaction.

“I’m very relieved that it’s going,” said Bob Ward, owner of Portland Automotive Machine Services, in the Gorham Industrial Park near Plan-It Recycling & Transfer.

“Nobody wanted to have that business for a neighbor,” said Vaughn Gushee, who owns a nearby 5-acre field that he hopes to sell to a developer.

In the 183-acre industrial park, there are only a handful of undeveloped lots, said Tom Ellsworth, president of the Gorham Economic Development Corp. Two of them are right next to the closed recycling facility.

The removal of the trash will make those lots “more likely to be developed,” he said.

A year ago, Beals Ice Cream bought about an acre and a half next to the recycling facility. In January, a judge ordered Plan-It Recycling & Transfer to cease its operation because incoming waste had accumulated beyond limits set by the state and the town.

Since then, the trash has sat — and nothing has changed on Beals’ site.

Ellsworth said Beals planned to move its Gorham ice cream stand there from its current location, a mile down Route 25, and build a plant for making ice cream for its five shops. It now makes the ice cream in Scarborough’s Oak Hill Plaza.

Ellsworth said he doesn’t know what Beals’ plan is now. The company’s owners didn’t return calls this week seeking comment. However, Ellsworth believes that the trash piles and their uncertain fate have been a deterrent for businesses to build nearby.

Across the Gorham Industrial Parkway from Plan-It Recycling & Transfer is the property that Gushee and his father bought about four years ago.

Gushee said he initially thought that the proximity of the recycling business would help him sell the property. He imagined constant truck traffic attracting a fast food restaurant to his site. But as the piles grew, he saw potential buyers come and go, some with dust and debris covering their expensive cars, he said.

“Before they left, they had to go get a car wash,” said Gushee.

Ward, the auto shop owner, doesn’t know if Plan-It Recycling & Transfer’s presence has hurt his business, but it hasn’t impressed his customers.

“Everybody comments on it. ‘What’s that big pile of trash?’ ” he said Wednesday.

Workers at Grondin & Sons, which hopes to profit by reselling the land, also have an aesthetic interest in cleaning up the site. The construction company’s offices are about 300 feet away.

Grondin originally sold the property to Plan-It Recycling & Transfer in 2004. It never expected the site to wind up like this, said owner Phil Grondin Jr.

“It’s certainly going to be nice to have the piles gone and have new owners over there,” he said.

The plan is still contingent on approvals from the Gorham Planning Board, the state Department of Environmental Protection and a judge. If the plan is approved, Grondin will move the trash this winter.

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