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Ballantyne Anger Builds Over Plans To Expand Foxhole Landfill

Anger is building in Ballantyne. Shouts and "booing" erupted repeatedly at a public meeting Monday night to discuss the future of Mecklenburg County 's Foxhole Landfill. About 150 neighbors of the landfill attended. The County Commission has approved $15 million to expand Foxhole and get it ready for household trash. Foxhole is currently only used as a dump for construction and demolition debris. Nearby homeowners like Ed Devaney say they were led to believe Foxhole would never be a destination for smellier household waste. "One of the reasons we decided to purchase there was the fact there would be no garbage. My fear is with this would come animals, coyotes, vultures, etc., not to mention the gases that would come from it and put my kids at risk. Obviously that's why we oppose it," Devaney said. Several upscale neighborhoods and a public elementary school border the Foxhole Landfill. County solid waste officials say they hope to find other alternatives for Mecklenburg County's household trash, but currently do not have a contract with any landfill after next summer. Foxhole is one alternative. Another is to pay a start-up called ReVenture to burn the trash for electricity. Ash and residual waste from ReVenture would then go to Foxhole. That option is just as upsetting as the prospect of raw garbage for Foxhole neighbor Jack Jackson. "That comes out to roughly 70,000 tons a year of this ash - perhaps toxic, I'm not sure - waste that would be transported a long distance and then end up in this landfill that's adjacent to this school," he said. County officials say that wouldn't happen because the Foxhole Landfill is not permitted to take hazardous or toxic waste. But they and ReVenture's developers struggled to address all of the community's concerns at last night's public meeting. Additional forums will be held in the coming weeks. Mecklenburg County Commissioners plan to hold their own forums while they wait for an outside expert to weigh in on ReVenture's proposal to turn household trash into electricity.