Councilman criticizes decision to close landfill - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Councilman criticizes decision to close landfill

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The Florence landfill will close down, but the opposing councilman criticizes this decision. The Florence landfill will close down, but the opposing councilman criticizes this decision.

A nearly three year stalemate is over in Florence. The Florence City Council voted to shut down the city's landfill.

During the meeting, council members who were formerly opposed to shutting down the landfill said they changed their minds. Recent citations from ADEM suggested the landfill was leaking. Members said this is what changed their stance on the issue. The ADEM report said they found evidence that suggests leachate, harmful landfill liquids, had leaked into waterways near Cypress Creek.

After a 45 minutes discussion, the council voted. The vote fell five to one in favor of closing the landfill.

Councilman Hermon Graham held his stance on keeping the landfill open as well as opening a new cell within the dump. Graham said if the ADEM found pollution in the waterways, they would have shut the landfill down themselves. Graham feels confident that the landfill manager corrected all of the issues. He also believes the council is shutting the landfill down prematurely and selling the city short of their investment.

"Not leave an empty cell in a landfill that we spent millions of dollars, of taxpayer's money on, to go ahead and maximize it. Fill it up, which we're dumping in the new cell would have been right in the middle of where we've been dumping for the last 26 years wouldn't have been any new area involved in this deal," said Graham.

The council as a whole agrees garbage rates need to be increased for city residents no matter when the landfill shuts down.

Florence City Council had remained in a deadlock over this issue for almost three years.

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