Murfreesboro, Tenn. (WKRN) – A foul odor is stinking up the neighborhood, according to some Murfreesboro residents, and now they’re working to stop a planned expansion, they say is at the root of the smell.
Republic Services, which owns the Middle Point Landfill in Rutherford County, has proposed to expand the landfill by nearly 100 acres. The move comes as neighbors in the area say the smell from the trash is becoming too much.
“It’s like a skunk smell, it’s just terrible, it’s something you don’t want to smell every day,” said Tara McKnight. She has been living behind the landfill for the past 20 years and said it’s become a problem even her guests are becoming sick of.
Now, she’s worried the smell could get worse.
“They need to do something about it, get it away from this area, around neighborhoods,” McKnight said.
The Middle Point Landfill is the destination for 27 counties, taking in trash from across Middle Tennessee. The company says the area is becoming “increasing limited” and that expansion is “necessary.”
“Expand! I said oh my gosh, I’ve been in this neighborhood for 20 years and the smell is terrible, I mean it’s affecting everybody out here, I mean you can’t even go outside sometimes, it smells so bad,” said McKnight, when she heard about the expansion plans.
As news of the proposed project spread, Matt Ferry created an online petition called “Stop the Superdump”, which has garnered more than 4,000 signatures.
“There’s a smell, it’s traveling across the county, and it’s become more than just a nuisance,” said Ferry.
He said the issue is complicated. While the landfill and trash removal services are needed, the health concerns outweigh the benefits, Ferry said. He said damaged roads from trucks driving through the area, and the constant odor are just some of the major issues linked to the landfill.
“One person said they are crappy neighbors and I absolutely believe that,” said Ferry, “I wasn’t surprised because they have been doing this for years, but it’s definitely something we don’t want to see in our backyard’s. It’s a continuation of what’s been going on.”
It has been an ongoing battle. According to Ferry, this is not the first time an expansion has been proposed. In a statement from Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland, he said, “I, along with all the members of City Council, have repeatedly stated our opposition to Republic’s proposed expansion of the Middle Point Landfill.
The decision to approve the plan is ultimately up to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, on whether or not to give Republic the green light on the project. The Region Solid Waste Board is set to give TDEC their recommendation on the expansion within the month.
Full statement from Republic Services on the proposed expansion:
“We believe the proposed expansion is consistent with the region’s solid waste plan and necessary. Landfill capacity is increasingly limited in middle Tennessee – less than eight years at current rates according to TDEC. The expansion would provide the region with an affordable and responsible disposal solution for the next 25 years.”Republic Services