Dunmore Council approves controversial landfill expansion

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(WBRE/WYOU) — The battle between a borough in Lackawanna County and a landfill company comes to a head Thursday night.

Dunmore Borough Council decided whether they would amend zoning for the company to expand the landfill. By a 4-3 vote, council members voted to grant expansion of the Keystone Landfill. It was a decision that did not sit well with residents.

Frustration and disappointment at Thursday’s Dunmore Council meeting. In a 4-3 vote, council decided to accept an amendment for the Keystone Landfill. Residents weren’t shy about voicing their opposition.

“If you pass this, a For Sale sign goes on my house, and it will break my heart to leave this community, but I will do that. And then you will have no one here as a tax base. It will be a ghost town,” Ellen, a Dunmore resident said.

The biggest debate was whether the landfill is a structure. Keystone argues that it is not a structure by definition and therefore should not be limited to a height restriction required for local zoning codes. Without this height restriction, the landfill will be able to grow and expand.

“They want us to be afraid. That is the modest operandi. They are the ones that should be afraid though because if they don’t get this height limit, they are stuck,” Michelle Dempsy of Dunmore said.

Council members ultimately sided with the Keystone, even though more than a dozen residents stepped up to the microphone to express why they believe council should reject the Keystone’s request. Many got very emotional as they did so.

“To speak truth to power, and to defend our town. You guys are the last line of defense,” Janet Bryer, Dunmore, said.

The fight isn’t quite over. The grassroots organization Friends of Lackawanna is currently battling Keystone Landfill in court. A representative for Keystone Landfill revealed that the landfill is already very close to the maximum height.

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