Neighbors worried about proposed landfill


Lisa Gilmore worries her new dream home could become a nightmare if a trash landfill is allowed to open near her back yard.

"This is our first home," Gilmore explained. "We are a young family. We really saved for this home, and the value of the home is going to go down."

Matt Kirkpatrick runs a company that wants to recycle a 300-acre sand pit in Harnett County into a landfill, attracting new jobs and money.

"We are prepared to offer a package to the county that would generate up to $2M per year to this county," Kirkpatrick said.

Some residents worry the landfill also will attract vermin and disease.

"No matter how you dress it up, it's a landfill," resident Brynn Vollemer said. "It's trash. Everything you throw in your garbage at home -- diapers, coffee, those are going to end up in my back yard."

In brochures and letters to area residents, Kirkpatrick says the landfill will be tightly regulated and won't stink up the environment or contaminate groundwater.

"It's environmentally safe, highly buffered from its operation from neighboring residences and it's a very compatible land use," Kirkpatrick explained. He says he would not have a problem living next to one.

Some residents disagree. "It's a dump," one homeowner said. "I don't care how you cut it, how you polish it. It's a dump."

Some residents fear the landfill will trash their neighborhoods.

"We already have two landfills in Harnett County," the homeowner added. "They are proposing one in Chatham County. We got the largest in the state in Sampson County, next door, down the road. Enough is enough. Money isn't everything."

County commissioners will consider the permit at their meeting next month. Next week the landfill company is holding a community meeting to talk with residents about the proposal.

And for some residents, it will be a tough sell. They say they didn't buy into having a landfill as a neighbor when they moved into the area. They also say they're trying to protect their homes and families.

"We really invested into this community, and now we feel like we could lose everything," Gilmore said.

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