Business looking to buy Richfield Landfill, mine recyclable mate - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Business looking to buy Richfield Landfill, mine recyclable materials

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(03/20/14) - A business is looking to try something new at the shuttered Richfield Township Landfill.

TerRenova LLC has proposed to buy the landfill, then mine it for recyclable material buried there.

It's a brand new concept for Michigan, and neighbors in the township have some concerns - the landfill is next door to Holloway Lake.

Many are worried that if digging starts in that landfill, contaminants could work their way into the water system.

"All the neighborhood is in kind of an uproar as trying to figure out what is going on? What is being proposed?" said Holloway Lake Association Vice President Julie Brandon.

Brandon lives right next door to the lake, and if you stand on her porch and look north, you can see the top of the Richfield Landfill.

"We're not saying out of hand we're against it, we're simply saying 'give us the information so we can look at it,'" she said.

Here's the background on what's going on right now.

Richfield Landfill went into bankruptcy and has been shuttered since fall of 2012. TerRenova LLC - based in Clarkston - is looking at purchasing it for $1 million.

Part of their business plan is to mine recyclable materials out of the heap. It's something the DEQ says has never been done in the state.

"When you dig up 30, 40 years of waste, it's going to smell," Brandon said.

Neighbor Bill Stapp is worried that the process will release contaminants into the lake.

"My personal opinion is I hope it stays closed forever, that's just my personal opinion about it," he said.

Since the bankruptcy, the DEQ has been managing the property, but not accepting waste. They haven't received anything in writing from TerRenova about the mining proposal - it's only been discussed.

"It's new to everyone, we want to make sure that if it is ultimately proposed by TerRenova and we evaluate that it has to be done sensitively," said Carrie Hardigan, with the DEQ.

We did speak to TerRenova on the phone - they told us they can't say much yet, but they wanted to assure us that they'll be good stewards of this property and that details should be coming out soon.

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