Camden Landfill Controversy

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City leaders in Camden are putting their foot down against a local landfill. The operator of the landfill is Environmental Waste Solutions, and according to residents living near the site, the smell of ammonia is making them physically sick. Now, this is not your typical landfill, it is actually used for industrial waste. That means everyday it deals with aluminum dross and a variety of other materials. And it is what those materials produce, an odor, that has residents up in arms. With a mask on, it looks as if it is just another day on the job for Mike Melton, however, it is actually another day in the yard. That is because a landfill is in his own backyard, one that he says produces the smell of ammonia that literally makes he and his neighbors sick. According to Randall Clark, an alderman, Environmental Waste Solutions set up shop a couple of years ago, however, illegally because there was not a public meeting beforehand. Melton, adds, “These people are here to make a dollar, I understand that, but this is our home, we live here and we think it’s a bad thing.” And the city thinks it is a bad thing as well, not only because of the smell, but because of a private investor. Officials say he was denied the opportunity to build a 48 unit apartment complex nearby, and because of that the city lost out on about $40,000 worth of tax revenue. Clark, says, “We find that aluminum dross has an affect on metal roofs and on wiring, so this is going to limit a lot of new construction and it has.” State violations have come and gone, and now officials are saying the company violated the city’s nuisance ordinance because the smell has affected the public heath, and not much has been done to fix it. That is why a sign was put up on Monday to restrict large trucks from entering the landfill. That ultimately will make it almost impossible for EWS to do their job come Friday. Clark, adds, “Its really a heated debate and it was just time for the city to take a stand and use our codes to exercise our right as a city to say ok its time to stop.” The city will hold a special called meeting to discuss the problem Wednesday night, however, officials say, as of April 1st, they will still not allow any large trucks to enter the landfill.

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