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Battle Over Holly Springs Landfill Continues

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HOLLY SPRINGS — Wake County is growing rapidly, and growth means more people, more trash, and more space allocated for solid waste. A landfill in North Raleigh will be closed in 2003. To keep Wake County clean, environmental services plans to open a new landfill in Holly Springs, but many residents there are crying foul, saying they don't want a landfill in their back yards.

The proposed South Wake County Landfill near Holly Springs will be the area's newest and most technologically advanced in the area. Of its 483 acres, 189 will be used for actual solid waste disposal. The remainder will be used for buffer areas and more.

Wake County is having a tough time making the new landfill appealing to residents in Holly Springs. Residents say the landfill will dump on their property values and lay their quality of life to waste. But residents of the affluent Falls River development say life next to the North Wake Sanitary Landfill is good.

Anna Berg lives near the North Raleigh site. she says there is no problem with it.

"There is no problem with it being here, and it seems that with the one here, they've dealt with it well in terms of aesthetically," said Berg.

Near the landfill, new homes are under construction. Realtors like Brad Graham say Wake County operates the landfill with the concern of a good neighbor.

"We want to work with the community to make sure that they are satisfied with the amount of buffer that will be around the landfill. By that I mean trees and perhaps parks," said Carlette Southern-Robert of Wake County Environmental Services.

Wake County says it has a responsibility to handle its own waste. The alternative could be too costly for the county and taxpayers. Doing the right thing includes more recycling in the area. Wake County

Environmental Services will be meeting with residents of Holly Springs on June 16 to answer more tough questions from some people who are outraged with plans for the new landfill.

The debate raises concerns about a bigger trash problem in Wake County.

In 1995, each county resident created almost one-and-a-half tons of solid trash. That's up three percent since the state kicked off a campaign in the late eighties to get each county to reduce its per capita waste nearly in half by encouraging recycling.

Durham and Cumberland Counties have even worse trash track records. On the other hand, Orange County really picked up on the idea.

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Kelly Wright, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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