Neighbors Deal with Dusty Mess as Work Continues on Mount Trashmore
By Jill Kasparie, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Work on the landfill, known as Mount Trashmore, is creating a mess for some people living nearby.
The Solid Waste Agency said it closed the landfill months ago when it completely filled up. Now, workers are using dirt to cover or cap the old garbage site. Work that's supposed to officially close it, however, is frustrating neighbors.
Crews have been hauling dirt back and forth for months. The Solid Waste Agency said work to cover up Mount Trashmore started in April. Trucks are coming and going throughout the day from the entrance off of C Street Southwest. The Solid Waste Agency said the dust has been particularly bad because of all the dry weather.
“It's just solid dust,” said Shane Dyson.
Dyson lives across from the street from the entrance truckers use to access the landfill.
"A lot of semis [are] coming out of the landfill, dragging a lot of dust with them," Dyson said. "It is just built up in our yard, built up on our cars."
This is the second time neighbors have lived through the dusty mess. The Solid Waste Agency closed the landfill one other time, just before the flood. Then, it reopened for flood debris.
"The neighbors in that neighborhood have been through this before, so they've gone through it, and so I can understand with them being frustrated,” said Solid Waste Agency’s Joe Horaney.
"I rinsed off this table just the day before yesterday, and we are at this point already,” said Renita Shannon as she pointed to her backyard table.
Shannon said she can't spend much time outside and needs to keep her windows closed.
"I don't like it but I know it has to be done too," Shannon said. "So, it's kind of a double-edged sword."
The Solid Waste Agency said the capping process is mandated by the state. As they do the needed work, they're also working to keep the dust to a minimum. Street sweepers are making passes on C Street every day, trucks are watering down the drive into the landfill and crews will power wash any dusty homes at the end of the process.
"We understand that this is a necessary evil, but we are going to do everything we can to make sure that the neighbors -- that their neighborhood -- doesn't get any more dusty than it is, and we get it done as soon as possible,” Horaney said.
The hauling process that is bringing in all the dust is expected to wrap up within the next few weeks, but some neighbors don't want to wait that long.
"We want it done now,” Dyson said. “We are tired of it."
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