LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – The Town Hall against the expansion of the Outagamie County Landfill drew a crowd of people to Van Lieshout Park who take issue with the growth of the landfill.
Bruce Jansen, the Town Hall Organizer said, “Well we’re being exposed to constant noxious odors, windblown debris, noise, and just the county hasn’t been very receptive to us so we’re trying to get the word out to more people to get them to do something about it.”
The meeting drew around two dozen community members and government officials who voiced concerns and answered questions about the landfill expansion project.
Brian Van Straten, the Director of Outagamie County Recycling and Solid Waste said, “As far as odor control goes we have a vapor delivery system that runs around the closed section of the east landfill, all the way around the east-west stretch of the active northeast landfill, and the delivery system actually takes odors and actually neutralizes them.”
County Representatives said they also fly predator hawks to fend off seagulls and use a fence and litter collection programs to stop trash from infiltrating communities.
They got their landfill Plan of Operation approved and their Air Pollution Control Construction Permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in April.
“We’ll still need the actual operating permit issues by the DNR when it’s time to start filling,” said Van Straten.
The Village of Little Chute also has a role to play when they issue a ‘Conditional Use Permit’ for the expansion.
David Kittel, the Community Development Director for the village said, “We can apply certain provisions they have to meet to help mitigate the issues that are currently existing.”
This discussion drew State Senator André Jacque to Little Chute to moderate the discussion between the village, the county and the citizens.
“One group we had kinda hoped to have here as well was the Department of Natural Resources, they kinda declined the invitation but we were able to have a very productive larger discussion about things that are in progress,” said Sen. André Jacque. “We are trying to mitigate the odor issue primarily but certainly, issues related to the conditional use permit and neighbor concerns.”
The discussion also attracted an Appleton Alderperson because the west side of the landfill borders District 13 where she is a representative.
Alderperson Sheri Hartzheim said, “I would be looking for trying to continue to ask them what are the results of these things. Like State Senator Jacque said, is there evidence these things have occurred before and have helped mitigate scents?”
While members of the community are trying to stop the landfill expansion Alderperson Hartzheim said she believes it is too late, but rather is interested in seeing what can be done to reduce some of the problems the landfill is causing.
Bruce Jansen runs a Facebook Group called Citizens for an Odor Free Environment for anyone interested in the cause.