MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A public meeting got heated Sunday evening as a community stood in opposition of a proposed landfill.
It didn't take long for residents at the meeting, which was held to discuss a proposed landfill in the Berclair area, to speak out against it.
“You’re going to be in my backyard!” said one resident.
“We don’t want that landfill at all in our neighborhood!” said another resident.
“You’re totally lying to this group,” said one resident. “You are!”
The proposal would excavate dirt and gravel out of a currently empty 85-acre property, turning about half into a demolition construction landfill.
The other half would become a public park.
Those behind the proposal say the park, plus 20 jobs created would benefit the community.
“We’re wanting to create something that’s nice,” said John Farris with Farris Bobango PLC.
But neighbors strongly disagree.
“We do not need a landfill here!” a resident said.
“If you had to live here, you wouldn’t want it in your neighborhood either,” said another resident.
The packed room took the presenters to task.
They loudly expressed concerns about health and environmental impacts. The landfill would be located next to the Wolf River in a flood plain.
They were also worried about lowered home values, negative impacts to schools nearby and traffic.
“I’ve been in construction for 45 years, we put any and everything in there,” said a resident.
“Everybody here is against this except for a couple of you that are making money off it,” said another resident.
“This is not acceptable, it’s not OK,” said another resident.
“We’re absolutely not going to do anything that is going to harm the environment or people,” Farris said.
Neighbors say they believe they’re being targeted as an economically depressed area to put in the landfill.
While a representative for Blaylock and Brown says the company wants to work with the community to help benefit the area, people at the meeting promised to fight the proposed landfill at every step.
“We’re a community that loves each other,” said resident Frances Rodgers. “And we will stand up for our community. I grew up here and I will die here.”
“We think it’s a pretty good proposal, but we understand everyone’s concerns too,” Farris said.
The landfill proposal will be heard in front of the Land Use Control Board on Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. inside city hall.