Thursday, September 26, 2002
What a dump: Some make a stink
Others say they don't mind living near giant trash mound
By Tom O'Neill, email@example.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer
COLERAIN TWP. Say this much about Mount Rumpke: Love it or hate it, very few of its neighbors are indifferent about it.
The waste company's request to expand the 234-acre landfill mound by 95 acres will require approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), and meet air quality and indirect discharge standards.
Some nearby residents on Tuesday night expressed serious environmental concerns at an OEPA public meeting. Others who didn't attend said Wednesday that Rumpke has been a good neighbor and not all of them work there.
It doesn't bother us at all, said Teri Greer of Locharbour Lane. Her back yard is close to the mound, which is the highest point in Hamilton County at more than 1,000 feet above sea level.
When she and her family moved there a year and a half ago, they told us nothing would happen for a few years.
That still might be true, because the tests required for OEPA approval are extensive. But the idea of making such a huge garbage hill bigger riles many neighbors, who say it's an eyesore and a deadly polluter of nearby streams.
In criticizing the OEPA and the Hamilton County Combined General Health District for letting Rumpke do too much of its own environmental monitoring, neighbor Caren Whitcomb said. That's what Enron did, too.
For years, Rumpke has offered residents more than market value for their homes, including on Struble Road and Locharbour. Michael Clark, 58, grew up in one of those homes on Locharbour and lived there for the better part of 43 years.
His aging father, who was ailing and has since died, sold to Rumpke in 2000 for three times the home's worth, Mr. Clark recalled.
If you've noticed, the Green Township man said Wednesday, (the landfill site) looks like Death Valley. My dad was infuriated but he realized he couldn't do anything about it. It's a big heap of garbage, but I think it's a losing battle because Rumpke has a lot of money.
Rumpke officials say the issue is the life of the landfill, which they estimate will be full in two years. The expansion would extend the life 13 to 15 years.
Tony Helphinstine has worked for 4 1/2 years at a Rumpke refueling station, and his back yard also overlooks the mound. The short of it is, if it's not approved, where are they going to put it? he said. They'll ship it out, which means a surcharge and higher fees.
Other neighbors consider that a small price to pay.
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