Deny Shotwell Landfill, Inc. Request for Revision to Franchise for C&D Debris Landfill
Shotwell Landfill Inc. has requested permission from the Wake County Board of Commissioners to quadruple service area to 9 counties and quadruple daily tonnage limits to 1000 tons.
The owners of Shotwell Landfill plan to turn the historic community of Shotwell adjoining the town of Knightdale, NC into a vast trash dump receiving 365,000 tons of garbage from throughout North Carolina on an annual basis.
Shotwell Landfill poses economic, public safety, and environmental risks that far outweigh marginal economic benefits to Wake County.
The marketplace for C&D landfills is already highly competitive in Wake County with several alternatives, which keeps C&D disposal costs generally low.
From a public policy perspective, the availability of several local competitive alternatives suggests that further expansion of Shotwell Landfill is far from critical to Wake County’s economic development.
Academic studies from Penn State, Cleveland State, and other institutions show a strong correlation between increased landfill tonnage limits and reduced property values in neighboring residential communities.
Accelerated expansion at Shotwell Landfill will place at risk $1B to $1.5B in neighboring owned-homes within Johnston County alone.
PUBLIC SAFETY RISKS
Public records indicate that local trucking companies hauling debris to Shotwell Landfill have routinely exceeded truck weight limits and forced drivers to haul heavy debris in trucks with patched steer tires.
Higher tonnage limits for Shotwell Landfill mean more dump trucks sharing curvy, narrow, and hilly two-lane roads with cars and buses carrying ~2000 school children from public schools less than 3 miles from the Shotwell site.
Shotwell ground water testing has shown the presence of multiple carcinogens and other chemicals known to cause nervous system damage. Medical waste, including sharps and contaminated glass have also been identified at the Shotwell facility, which is located in close proximity to the Neuse River.
Recent surveys of local residents have shown that > 97% of nearby homeowners have experienced a strong “rotten eggs” odor from the Shotwell landfill on daily basis, due in part to methane levels ranging from 2x to 5x above state action limits.
Wake County has spent over $20 million to acquire land in Marks Creek watershed to improve water quality in the vicinity of Shotwell Landfill. Allowing the landfill to expand would run counter to environmental policy goals of Wake County.
With no compelling economic need for Shotwell’s expansion in Wake County and significant risks to neighboring communities, I would ask the Wake County Board of Commissioners to deny Shotwell Landfill’s request for accelerated expansion.
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