Harnett residents raise stink over proposed landfill
Posted September 13, 2011
Cameron, N.C. — The fight over a proposed landfill in southwestern Harnett County is so fierce that zoning officials planned to hold a second night of hearings on the matter Tuesday.
Sandhills Environmental wants to use a 370-acre former sand mine off N.C. Highway 24/27 between Cameron and the Johnsonville community for regional landfill, beginning in 2014.
The county Board of Adjustment heard more than four hours of testimony from the company Monday as about 100 people waited for their chance to weigh in on the project.
"We're frightened about the noise. We're frightened about the trucks. We're frightened because you can call it whatever you want, but it's a garbage dump," said Zella Bracy, whose home in the Carolina Seasons neighborhood is about 400 feet from the edge of the proposed landfill site.
One of her neighbors, Ronald Cameron, has been making protest signs saying that runoff from the landfill could pollute a nearby creek filled with cypress trees.
Matt Kirkpatrick, managing director of Sandhills Environmental, said the landfill would provide state-of-the-art protections against pollution and smell, including a high-density plastic barrier, a 300-foot buffer, berms and trees. Also, the facility won't accept any hazardous waste, he said.
"You will see schools, YMCAs, day cares – every activity in modern society – conducted (near a) modern, regulated, engineered landfill," Kirkpatrick said.
Landfill supporters say Harnett County could use the $2 million in fees the facility would generate each year, especially with schools struggling and county services cut because of tight budgets.
"If it's a money issue, then this community should not bear the brunt of raising that money for the entire county," Cameron said.
Residents worry that a landfill would hurt their property values and complained that they have been given little time to respond to the company's plans.
"We don't trust those guys," Bracy said. "We were given weeks of notice. They've known about (their plans) for years."
If the county Board of Adjustment approves a conditional use permit for the landfill, the issue would go before Harnett County commissioners next week. Sandhills Environmental also must secure a permit from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Location of proposed landfill (Carolina Seasons is marked by the "A.")