The County Commission on Wednesday voted 7-2 to approve rezoning for a Construction and Debris landfill at Harrison.
Voting in favor were Greg Beck, Warren Mackey, Sabrena Smedley, Greg Martin, Tim Boyd, Randy Fairbanks and Jim Fields.
Opposed were Chester Bankston and Joe Graham.
Commissioner Boyd said it was just the first step in permitting for the landfill, which will be next to an old county landfill that was taken over by the city. The city now sends all its garbage to the Bradley County landfill.
The new landfill will use the existing entrance to the old landfill.
Commissioner Boyd said landfills today are strictly regulated. He said without a C&D landfill in Hamilton County that unregulated dumps are springing up, including one near the planned new C&D landfill. He said realistically, "a guy in a pickup truck is not going to drive 30 or 60 miles to Bradley County to take a mattress, tires or sheetrock."
Commissioner Beck said he grew up in Alton Park when landfills were unregulated and where several schools were built on old landfills. He said, "Back then no one cared, but now there are very strict regulations. I trust this landfill will be okay."
Among those speaking against the landfill was nearby resident Chancellor Jeff Atherton. Residents said the site, unlike the old landfill, is on the other side of a ridge, draining towards the Tennessee River.
A leader of the opposition, who were clad in green shirts, pledged to be part of a committee seeking an alternate site.