VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – Vanderburgh County residents near the Laubscher Meadows Landfill are concerned about a possible expansion. Some residents, including James Woodard, received a letter from Republic Services detailing their plan and reasoning to bring in poultry waste to the landfill from neighboring counties across southern Indiana.

“We don’t really think Vanderburgh County is the place to do that,” says Woodard. “They are basically asking for an open license to all year to accept poultry waste from 10 rural counties surrounding Vanderburgh County.”

Republic Services says they have petitioned Vanderburgh County to allow the poultry waste, in addition to a request to extend the landfill’s permit by 10 years. Among several concerns, Woodard says the smell from the landfill will impact surrounding neighborhoods.

“I would be very concerned about that, that’s the first I’ve heard about that,” says Dane Gray. Since moving near the landfill in 2015, Gray says he has only noticed a smell once or twice. He believes that would change if additional poultry waste is brought to the landfill.

Other concerns stated by neighbors include an increase in wildlife in the area, including coyotes and buzzards, as well as fears over possible trash rate increases and potential health hazards for residents in the area.

“Many of these other rural areas where there’s not city water,” says Woodard, “and they have to pull from local wells. So, what’s the impact on our groundwater?”

Another concern for residents; the value and appeal of the land. Both Gray and Woodard express concerns over lower property values should conditions at the landfill worsen. Woodard ventures a guess that impacts from the landfill could drive potential home buyers away from that part of Vanderburgh County.

“You know, you’re concerned about the property value of your home,” says Gray. Woodard adds, “We don’t need our properties depreciated. On a sunny day in the Summer when the garbage is reeking, and you’re down-wind of it, can you imagine trying to get a buyer to accept your property?”

Eyewitness News did reach out to Republic Services for more details on the possible expansion, but we did not hear back. Residents will have an opportunity to express their concerns publicly. The Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a meeting at 3pm December 15 at the Civic Center in Evansville.