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As Proposals Fail, Some Say Life Near Landfill is Not So Bad

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CHATHAM COUNTY — Three landfill proposals have all been trashed recently. The bottom line: If we do not find a new site soon, we could all pay a price.

A couple of years ago, Holly Springs won itsfight against a landfill. The Southwest Wake Landfill Plan was shot down after the fight over the permit process.

In December, the focus shifted to Halifax County, where a plan to turn a local landfill intoa regional landfill was trashedin the town of Aurelian Springs.

This week,Waste Industries pulled a proposalto build a regional dump in the Chatham County town of Moncure. Waste Industries also pulled out of a Franklin County landfill plan in 1999. Life Near Landfills Not So Bad, Say Some NeighborsJohn Eberdt lives in the Falls Village neighborhood, next door to North Wake Landfill off Durant Road near Raleigh.

"You never know it's there," he says. "It's just a big mound."

Other neighbors say the landfill is unnoticable. They say property values have actually increased, and they have no regrets about living there.

Rick Rowe, director of Wake County Environmental Services, says landfill management is the key to avoiding problems.

"A lot of it has to do with the image that's presented," he says, commenting on images of trash blowing across landfills and rats scurrying around. "If it's operated properly, then there should not be those problems."

The North Wake Landfill will be full in three years. It takes about two years to build a new landfill, leaving only a year to find a new location.