When Frayser residents think of their community, they don’t think of garbage. So they’re perplexed and frustrated anyone could think of garbage when it thinks of Frayser.
A #DontDumpOnFrayser group is encouraging neighbors to fight Memphis Wrecking Co.’s quest to build a landfill next to Whitney Achievement Elementary School at an open meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29 at Impact, 2025 Clifton Ave.
— NPI Memphis (@NPIMemphis) August 22, 2017
And at 10 a.m. Sept. 14, organizers urge residents to also attend the city’s Land Use Control Board meeting at City Hall, where this issue is an agenda item.
“We don’t want anymore trash dumped in our community. Especially where our children go to learn. Act Now,” reads a flyer for #DontDumpOnFrayser.
Disposing of demolition and construction materials, Memphis Wrecking Co. operates a 24-acre landfill near Northgate Shopping Center in Frayser, according to The Memphis Flyer. The City of Memphis, Memphis Light, Gas and Water and the company itself use the dumping ground. Memphis Wrecking Co. has previously sought twice to expand by adding about 34 acres next to the school.
“Where they are currently is isolated,” said Lisa Moore, CEO of Girls Inc. of Memphis, which has an organic farm at Dellwood and Whitney avenues where girls learn leadership skills while addressing the issue of food deserts.
When the company first moved into the area, “they were filling in a borrow pit that was created when the north loop of I-240 was built,” Moore said. Now, “they’re wanting to expand to an adjacent property that is flat farm land, and the farm is adjacent to Whitney Elementary School, and across from that is a populated neighborhood.”
The company’s persistence on expansion has raised the specter of environmental racism and classism, as certain communities across the country are burdened more than others with landfills and enterprises that introduce industrial pollutants in the air. Those overburdened communities often are dominated by people of color and low-income residents, as is Frayser.
— StayWatchful (@BlackSightMEM) August 18, 2017
The company has said on its website the expansion will create jobs and bring in new tax revenue. Company officials promise to keep noise levels down to no louder than a “normal group conversation” and keep traffic 500 feet from residential properties. The company also pledges to plant a berm to create a noise and visual barrier between the landfill and the school.
“Just the idea of a landfill being near a school is not the best idea,” Dr. LaSandra Young, principal of Whitney Achievement Elementary School told WREG News Channel 3.
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