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Wake Landfill Proposal Has Many People Talking Trash

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WAKE COUNTY — Mention the word "landfill" and people get fired up. A mound of garbage that could be as high as 200 feet has been proposed for Wake County.

Despite neighbors' objections, the Wake County Board of Adjustment approved a proposal to put a demolition debris landfill on 209 acres in southeast Raleigh. The state has to approve the idea before its a done deal. No word on when that will be.

For years, the Auburn community in southeast Wake County has been dominated by pastures and farms. A construction and demolition landfill could change all that.

"It will be covered with soil, but will be an eyesore for generations, far exceeding our lifespan," says landfill opponent Roy Roper.

A proposed regional landfill would accept construction debris from Wake, Johnston, and maybe even Durham, Orange, and Chatham counties. When full, it would be almost 15 stories high.

Wake planners say the project would be the second largest landfill of its kind in the county.

Pat Gupton say the dirt wall, or burm, that would shield her property would be just 50 feet away from her home.

Material Reclamation just built a facility in Raleigh that is recycling 70 percent of the construction debris it receives. The rest would go to the proposed landfill.

The company says the booming construction industry in Wake County is running out of places to put its waste.

Material Reclamation does not believe the landfill will impact nearby home values since a wastewater treatment plant and a police firing range and driver training facility border homes there.

Residents disagree, and question whether the landfill's potential harm will be justified by the greater good.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Keith Baker, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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