Dumfries landfill wants to build upward

A proposal to expand a Prince William County dump has some residents ready to mobilize in opposition. The owners of the Potomac landfill in Dumfries promise if the operation can build landfill mountains up, it will go away sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, trucks arrived continuously at the Potomac landfill, dropping off construction debris before leaving.

Dumfries resident Tommy Clark said, "A lot of noise they are constantly working big machinery back there."

Aside from the noise, Clark says those who live nearby have another big problems to deal with - namely the odor.

"It smells a lot during the summertime. After it rains, you smell like, just like all the insulation, all the nasty wood [and] everything rotten back there," Clark added.

The owners of the landfill have asked for permission to go beyond height restrictions established in 1987. They want to build the mountain of waste to 310 feet, roughly as high as the nearby water tower.

"It's gonna be more noticeable for sure. It's gonna be an eyesore...," Zack Keeney of Dumfires said.

The landfill is sweetening the deal by promising to halt outward expansion if it can build upward. Representatives say the land they don't use can be re-developed.

But not everyone in the area is keen on more development either.

Stephanie Sigvaldsven, who also lives in Dumfires, said, "I don't think we really need more houses around here. We got enough people."

Landfill representatives say building up will also allow them to close down in about 15 years. If they have to expand outward, they vow to be around much longer.