Many residents addressed the Roanoke Rapids City Council, pleading their case against expanding the Halifax County landfill. However, the recommendation for the expansion was approved in a unanimous vote.
Waste Management, Inc.wants to buy the landfill and expand it to accommodate waste from five states, including North Carolina. The expanded landfill could accept 2,000 tons of trash each day.
"Even as landfill agreements go, this one stinks out loud," one man told the Council. Another woman said, "I plead for the air we breathe, the water, our homes, our land."
Project manager Greg Preverall says that the company's buffering system actually will improve the odor surrounding the current landfill. He says there is no environmental concern.
"It's not nuclear, hazardous or regulated waste materials," he says. "It's only what you and I throw away in our businesses and homes."
Environmental regulations state that only construction and demolition debris can be dumped in the existing landfill. The expanded landfill would provide a place for the county to dump its household and commercial waste.
In addition to more trash, Waste Management says the dump would also bring the county truckloads of cash. In the first two years, the landfill would generate about $175,000 and about $340,000 by the third year, Preverall says.
While the Council voted unanimously to support the landfill, they do not have the final word. The recommendation goes to the county commissioners who will vote Monday.