Controversial Recycling Inc. property is on the market for $6 million

The controversial site of a recycling facility on Naugatuck Avenue is on the market for $6 million.

The land and buildings at 990 Naugatuck Avenue and 0 Naugatuck Avenue are being sold as a package, according to a Weichert Realty site. Romano Real Estate is the listing agent, according to the ad.

That sounds like good news for neighbors who have fought a recycling facility on the property, and it probably is good news. But the game isn’t completely over yet, said attorney David Slossberg, who has been helping the city battle the business.

In recent years neighbors rallied against plans by Recycling Inc. to build a recycling facility on the property, citing past misuse of the land and the property’s proximity to the Housatonic River.

Neighboring properties include Caswell Cove Marina and condominiums, and residential homes.

Slossberg said Recycling Inc. still has permit applications before the Department of Energy and Environmental Conservation and is trying to appeal DEEP’s earlier decisions to revoke the company’s general permit and deny a request to expand.

“My take on the listing is that it’s as good a comment as any on what they think their legal prospects are,” Slossberg said. “They still have some cards to play, but practically speaking we brought it to a halt.”

The city has been battling Recycling Inc. for more than four years. The company was up and running for a short time under state permits until the city shut it down. Recycling Inc. then tried to expand and reopen, and the city moved in to battle the proposal from several different angles.

At the same time, Recycling Inc. representative Darlene Chapdelaine continued to wage her own war to turn the site into what she said would have been the premier recycling facility in the area.

In a last turn of events, Chapdelaine and convicted felon Gus Curcio Sr. began battling over who owned the recycling facility. Chapdelaine argued that she owned the business, and she filed papers in Milford Superior Court to keep Curcio out. Curcio, in papers filed in Bridgeport Superior Court, maintained he owned the business and fired Chapdelaine.

In December, a judge ruled that Curcio owned the business, thus leading the DEEP to reverse an earlier ruling in the company’s favor, saying that the company’s applications were based on misinformation.

Mayor Ben Blake said the city fought Recycling Inc. to preserve the city’s character.

“It was a battle to protect Milford’s way of life and make sure garbage trucks weren’t rolling past neighborhoods where children are playing,” Blake said.

Legally, the city now has more rights to regulate the land than it did before. State Sen. Gayle Slossberg helped close what local officials said was a loophole that gave the property owner the upper hand in building a solid waste facility. Legislation restored oversight to the municipality.

“If someone is going to develop there, we have local oversight back if it’s going to be for garbage or landfill use,” Blake said.

Chapdelaine, who still maintains that she is the legal owner of the company, said she didn’t know the property was being sold until a few weeks ago.

She said she’s walked away from the project, after having put about a half-million dollars into it, because she believes she will not win the legal battle.

“Recycling Inc. is dead,” Chapdelaine said. “I have to pick my battles.”

According to the property listing, zoning uses for the parcel include a hotel, motel, boat marina, and research and development facility.

“There are fuel storage tanks, a warehouse building and other storage structures which are in disrepair. The two properties are being sold as one, together there about 8.7+/- acres,” the listing notes.

The main parcel is appraised at $1.8 million, and the secondary parcel is appraised at $626,000. The property last sold in 2010 for $5 million, according to city records.