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Harrison community members say they don't want a new 25-acre construction and demolition landfill in Birchwood.

About 30 people, many dressed in bright green "Keep Harrison Beautiful" T-shirts, protested landfill developer Birchwood II LLC's rezoning request at the Hamilton County Commission this morning. If the commission approves the rezoning request, the developer will site the new landfill next to the existing Birchwood landfill.

The group voiced fears over placing the new landfill on their side of a ridge, which shelters their homes and nearby lake.

"Right now, I get some noise and odor pollution from the existing landfill, but I've got a big ridge that buffers it. It's not too bad," resident Sam Wells said. "If they're allowed to come over, all of the noise and the garbage and the waste will come over with it."

The proposed landfill, located at 9327 Birchwood Pike, would be built on property owned by Lamar McDaniel. Plans calls for using the road to the existing city solid waste landfill.

Greg Krum, president of Birchwood II. said the county needs the facility since the only other construction and demolition landfill in the county closed in March.

He dismissed concerns the site would serve as a dump for toxic materials, emphasizing the landfill would only accept construction debris. Instead, the new landfill would alleviate illegal dumping in the community.

"If we don't approve this, we're just going to see more and more of these illegal dumps hurting people's backyards and properties.," Krum said.

Community members challenged Krum on that point, asking how his landfill would alleviate illegal dumping of solid waste and other materials it cannot accept.

The Hamilton County Commission votes on the zoning request on Oct. 18.

Contact staff writer Paul Leach at 423-757-6481 or pleach@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @pleach_tfp.

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