LOCKPORT – Lockport Recycling Center made its pitch to the Common Council Wednesday for a permit to operate the city’s first recycling business.

The Council will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday on the plan for a 16.7-acre lot on Oakhurst Street, owned by auto dealer Charles Heinrich.

His plan is to take construction and demolition debris and sift it for recyclable materials he can sell. All the waste, recyclable and not, would be hauled away in containers, said Keith Pellerin of EnSol Environmental Solutions, the Niagara Falls company that drew up plans for the site.

“For all intents and purposes, it functions as a transfer station,” Pellerin told the Council. Technically, it can’t be called that, because state Department of Environmental Conservation regulations use that term only for a facility handling household waste.

City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri said the Planning Board approved the first phase of the plan Tuesday. It calls for construction of a truck scale and two concrete pads, one for unloading and one for sorting. They would be set on a patch of gravel covering less than an acre.

All the work in the first phase would be done outdoors, Pellerin said. If demand is heavy enough, permission for the second phase, a 10,000-square-foot building to hold more materials, could be sought.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker said the piles of materials are allowed to be no more than 12 feet high. Pasceri said the Planning Board also required construction of 15-foot-high “litter fences” on the lot lines to keep trash from blowing off-site.

Also, watering facilities to hold down dust and a catch basin for runoff are required under terms of the special-use permit the Planning Board approved. The Council is to vote on that after the hearing next week.

Pellerin said drywall and concrete from contractors will be the primary materials handled, but the stuff dumped by customers will be sifted by a worker with a mini-excavator, looking for recyclables.

He said the DEC permit, if granted, would limit Lockport Recycling to handling 150 tons of waste per day. If the building is constructed in the future, that limit would rise to 350 tons per day.