Sunday, July 29, 2001

Landfill site debate on way to court

Warren County officials square off with company

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Warren County officials go to court Monday in hopes of preventing a landfill from reopening between South Lebanon and Morrow.

        “The folks on Trovillo Road lived with a landfill for the better part of the last half of the century,” said John Chambers, attorney for the county. “It's not like they haven't done their part. ... The county commission has said this should not be the site of the next one.”

        The so-called Bigfoot landfill, perched near the Little Miami River in Union Township, reached capacity and closed in May 1999, leaving the county without a landfill. Owner Browning-Ferris Industries Inc. sought to open a new one in Morrow at the former Alpine Ski Resort, or expand next to Bigfoot.

        Morrow residents and officialsrebuffed BFI's efforts at Alpine, and in late 1998 the county commissioners denied the company's request to rezone land adjacent to Bigfoot.

        “There was a lot of discussion about it being too large, too close to neighboring properties, too tall,” Mr. Chambers said.

        The company rejected the planning staff's recommendation for a smaller expansion, he said.

        BFI — since bought by Allied Waste Industries of Scottsdale, Ariz. — is suing to get the commissioners' decision overturned.

        The officials are denying the landowner its constitutional right to earn a living, the lawsuit contends. Allied's attorney did not return calls.

        In 1999 — the most recent year for which numbers are available — Warren County residents and businesses threw away 159,000 tons of stuff, Solid Waste Director Dana Storts said.

        Three-quarters of that went to Rumpke's Hamilton County landfill, she said. About 7,500 tons went to Bigfoot before its May closing, and a smattering went to Brown and Montgomery counties and Kentucky.


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