To the editor:

I’d like to address the malodorous elephant in the room in Montgomery County, the Bi-County Solid Waste Management Landfill facility in Woodlawn. 

Woodlawn residents and those who drive Highway 79 past the facility know of the horrible smell that spans a several mile radius around the landfill. Some days it’s not so bad, other days it can make people physically ill. It can really be gag inducing. 

I happen to live very near the landfill, less than half a mile in fact. There are many days that the smell is so bad that we cannot open windows or spend any amount of time outdoors. Thankfully, it doesn’t leak into the house. 

Also, much to the displeasure of residents and commuters, just when the hot weather breaks and we get a little relief from the heat the smell gets much worse. During the cooler months the smell gets unbearably bad. I can hardly stand to take my dogs outside.

I have lived in this home for nearly a decade, the smell has almost always been an issue. The past few years it seems to keep getting worse. We keep getting promises that the issues are known and being worked on. Positive changes either don’t happen or don’t last and the smell comes back. Not only is it a public nuisance, it also affects people financially as home values in the area decrease, and buyers and renters are harder to find. No one wants to be near. 

We are on our third director in three years. We need changes and fixes. The Woodlawn facility continues to receive waste from Franklin under a contract, as well as sewage from Clarksville. Clarksville has yet to repair or replace their water treatment facility that was damaged in the flood of 2010.

New parks and public areas are nice, but not a priority over the issues surrounding the waste facilities in our county. Residents are constantly complaining about the stench and rightly so. It is a public nuisance and a public health hazard. We don’t know the effects of long-term exposure. It is the responsibility of the leaders of our county and city to take care of this issue. We need to demand answers and change. The residents of Woodlawn deserve better and this lowers our quality of life.

Erica Fuoco, Woodlawn

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