White Street Landfill opponents gird themselves for fight

by Christian Bryant

Concerned Greensboro citizens and elected officials, both past and present, gathered at Laughlin Memorial United Methodist Church on Monday to discuss a plan of action to block the reopening of the White Street Landfill. This episode of the landfill discussion was a continuation of strategic planning from the opposition — now going by the name Citizens for Economic and Environmental Justice — that allowed for the sharing of ideas and inquiries. Citizens also used this forum to ask questions directly to elected officials.

Former mayors Carolyn Allen and Yvonne Johnson were in attendance along with at-large Councilman Robbie Perkins, District 1 Councilwoman Dianne Bellamy-Small, former Councilwoman Goldie Wells and City Manager Rashad Young to help moderate the discussion.

Among the issues presented, attendees reiterated that health problems were one of the main concerns along with the landfill’s harmful effects on Greensboro’s economic growth.

Former mayor Allen struck a chord early on by exclaiming that “there is no major city in North Carolina with its landfill within city limits… this is a citywide problem. [This is] going to put a considerable damper on development.”

“This is Greensboro’s discussion,” said Perkins. “[This is] not an east Greensboro/west Greensboro fight.”

Wells said opponents of the landfill are contemplating taking legal action against the city while getting petitions signed, partnering with local universities and organizations to conduct research, attending council meetings and writing to local media outlets.

— Christian Bryant