Frayser landfill looking to expand within 300 yards of elementary school

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Could the third time be the charm?

A Memphis wrecking company is looking to grow their landfill in Frayser.

This is the third time the company has asked permission to grow the landfill used to dump demolition debris. The company withdrew plans a year ago after backlash from the community.

The proposal is to expand the landfill by 34 acres. The company says it's put changes in place to accommodate the surrounding neighborhood, however, several people WREG spoke with are uneasy about the landfill growing.

Once again the landfill at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Thomas Street is back in the news.

"The idea the landfill being near a school is not the best idea," said Whitney Achievement Elementary School Principal Lasandra Young.

If the proposal gets the green light, the dumping ground run by the Memphis Wrecking Company would be about 300 yards from Whitney Achievement Elementary School and not far from shopping areas.

The company uses the site to discard their demolition debris. It’s also used by the city of Memphis and MLGW.

Young, a first-year principal, has big plans for the upcoming school year, and a bigger landfill nearby is not part of it.

"My goal is to beautify the school and the surrounding community. And just no amount of flowers and trees can cover the image, and the reality that a landfill is going to be close to a neighboring school, especially an elementary school," she said.

Residents in the neighborhood nearby worry about safety and children possibly trespassing.

"Kids are real inquisitive, and even though they’re not supposed to do it, some of them will do it," said Deloris Marable.

Gene Bryan with Caissa Public Strategy is handling media relations for the Memphis Wrecking Company. He said for the most part plans for the landfill haven’t really changed. They’ve taken this extra time to make sure they’ve addressed all of the public’s concerns.

As for safety, he said there are security cameras and a fence.

Aesthetically, there will be several barriers blocking the landfill from public view, including trees and berms, which are large piles of land with grass.

Included in the business’ application is a letter from the CEO of Environmental Testing and Consulting of the Americas calling the facility “superior” and saying it surpasses regulations.

Overall they hope they can contribute to the community and cut down on illegal dumping.

The Shelby County Land and Review Board will look at the application on September 14.

The company holds a community meeting at the end of the month to address the public’s concern. The date has not been set.

We’ll let you know when we have more information.