BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Residents in the Sandhills have been complaining about the construction and debris landfill for years.
Waste Pro’s state permit to operate the landfill will expire soon, and residents are pushing against a permit extension.
“About seven years it has been getting worse, as each year passes and at this point, I feel that and the residents feel that the landfill should be closed,” Sandhills resident Zenia Moran said.
Residents claim the landfill impacts daily activities and even raises health concerns.
“It can be a problem where you want to have a barbecue in your yard, in your backyard, and you want to have family over and friends and you can’t because it smells and also, you know, that smell is a health hazard,” Moran said.
The Department of Environmental Protection has authority over the landfill. Over the years, they have issued several consent orders and notices of violations.
Waste Pro says they are listening and trying to fix the problem.
“We have employed subcontractors. I’ve changed operations. We are moving in a different area that we have not moved before since this issue arose quite a few years ago,” Waste Pro Division Manager Steve Barrentine said.
However, residents say they are tired of Waste Pro’s failed attempts and want a permanent solution. This is why they’re asking for help from the commission.
“We are against the extension of the operation of the landfill and asked that the DEP not extend the permit for additional five years,” Bay County Commissioner Doug Moore said.
The county has written a draft letter. Tuesday, Bay County Commissioners approved sending the letter to the DEP.
County officials state the DEP has received more than 300 complaints about the landfill. The state will hold a public comment period as part of the permit extension process.