The expansion of a north Forsyth landfill has nearby residents fired up.
Several residents voiced their opposition to the expansion the Eagle Point Landfill in northeast Forsyth during a public hearing held during a meeting of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.
“It is my understanding that this expansion will add up to 20-22 million cubic yards of additional space for waste to be deposited,” County Attorney Ken Jarrard said.
Under state rules, the expansion would be approved by the state’s Environmental Protection Division, and commissioners cannot take action on the expansion. The meeting was the only required hearing for the expansion, and comments from the meeting were taken by a court reporter that will go to the state.
All of the evening’s public speakers were against the expansion, including neighbor Brenda Henderson, who said she had not heard about the expansion until just hours before the meeting.
Bruce Urtz, who lives near the property, had strong words for the landfill and owner Advance Disposal, who did not have anyone present at the meeting.
“I think it’s incredibly arrogant that Advance Disposal couldn’t be bothered to send an engineer to this meeting to explain to us all they want to do,” he said. “This thing continues to grow. It continues to be an eyesore, a danger, and I just have a feeling my house is going to be absolutely worthless in 10 years if this things is able to grow.”
Several speakers voiced ongoing concerns with the landfill, such as truck traffic, being near the Etowah River, smells from the landfill and trash on the roadways.
“I counted over 7,000 pieces of trash from the Cherokee [County] border [on Hwy.] 369 to Ga. 400,” said resident Jim Garrard. “That isn’t even a good estimate; it would have been at least double to triple that if you went 10-15 feet of the road.”
District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, whose district the landfill falls in, said she was previously told there would be no representatives at the meeting, that the company does not typically send them to such meetings and that the company had been in the process for three years.
“I think very much that people should complain to the state about this process, because I don’t think it’s a good process,” she said. “I don’t think you have a public hearing at the end.”
Mills said she would like to hold another meeting with the company and lawmakers representing the area.
“I’ll even ask if we can get a meeting for the residents and ask Advance to come talk to you,” Mills said. “I’ll also ask for a state representative to come, because, you know what, they need to be there because they are the ones who make the rules.”