Board votes against Frayser landfill expansion

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An expansion proposal by a Frayser landfill received a unanimous "no" from the Land Use Control Board on Thursday.

Memphis Wrecking Company at Whitney Avenue and Thomas Street has asked permission to add 34 acres to the landfill at Whitney Avenue and Thomas Street, which is used to dump demolition debris. The company withdrew plans a year ago after backlash from the community.

The company's owners say they are heavily regulated and do not take regular trash.

But the site is located within 300 yards of an elementary school, and the plan drew hundreds of letters and emails from the surrounding community in opposition.

The meeting Thursday was filled with passionate outcries against the growth of the landfill.

"We've been working tirelessly to create hope. If you've never been hopeless you don`t understand the value of hope. But to a community that has been without hope for years to have hope begin to be built and have the people in the community begin to believe in hope and then have them believe hope can be for them and they can then become successful to then turn around and say we want to dump on that hope to me is a sad commentary and I challenge you to stand with us as we say, 'Please don`t dump on Frayser!'' exclaimed Frayser community leader, Pastor Deandre Brown to the board.

His comments were met with a large round of applause from the audience.

The room was packed room with community leaders, attorneys, teachers, students and concerned residents who shared Pastor Brown's sentiments.

After more than an hour of listening to the case made by a representative for the Memphis Wrecking Company as to why they should expand their location off Whitney Avenue and Thomas Street and those who were against the expansion the board ultimately pumped the brakes on the project.

Lasandra Young is Principal of Whitney Achievement Elementary. The landfill is behind the school.

"This is great. I love the fact that everyone came out to support us for this opposition for the landfill. Everyone is considering the children," said Young.

Despite the defeat Thursday those pushing for the landfill say they`re not giving up so quick.

"We feel like we made a strong case for this application and we look forward to educating the public more about this application since there were a lot of misconceptions and a lot of misunderstandings about the project," said CEO of Memphis Wrecking Company, Carol Williamson.

The wrecking company will now take their case to the Memphis City Council.

They argue there are barriers in place to limit sound and you can`t see it.
They want to be a partner with the city of Memphis and say it`s debris from trees and wrecking sites that`s dumped at the landfill and not trash.