RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A proposal to expand the Middle Point Landfill in Rutherford County has residents and local leaders concerned about the impact of the facility.
The 33-year-old landfill takes in trash from 19 counties, and earlier this month, it applied for a state permit to expand the site. Rutherford County and Murfreesboro city leaders came out in opposition of the plan, but because of how the contract between the county and the landfill was drawn up, local lawmakers don't have any say in the proposal.
"We have to push back against this expansion," Matt Ferry said. Ferry is a Murfreesboro resident who started a petition against the expansion. The petition quickly received thousands of signatures.
"It's almost at 3,500, and that was a big surprise to me to tell you the truth," Ferry said. "I knew there were a lot of people affected by this and that were passionate about them not expanding, but 3,500 in just a week is pretty amazing."
Ferry said he started the petition because the landfill already has an impact on residents throughout the area.
"I definitely smell it in the mornings and it'll hit you like a ton of bricks," he explained. "It is everything you think a landfill would smell like but worse."
Now he and other residents are worried an expansion will just be the start of more problems at the landfill.
"We want to try and stop this expansion and future expansions, we have a fear that this expansion is not going to be the last expansion, that they're just going to keep growing and growing and growing," Ferry said.
State lawmakers have concerns about the plan, too. In a letter published this week, Rutherford County's legislative delegation wrote that an expansion "would have great negative impacts on the quality of life" for people in the area.