LENOIR CITY - Work will begin soon at the old Poplar Springs Landfill in Loudon County to prevent potential landslides and further erosion.
The landfill closed in the early 1990s. Since then, concerns about leakage and seepage have arisen.
The cap of the landfill started to erode, which raised environmental concerns for many living in the county and the state.
"There was found to be some cap erosion inside the landfill itself, which could be a big deal if it happened to be a big slide," said Loudon County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw.
Bradshaw said there are some exposed areas and spots where garbage is exposed and visible.
"Luckily, it's household waste, not too dangerous, but what we don't want is a major slide coming along that would expose a major part of the landfill itself and possible environmental issues stemming from it," he added.
Knowing there was a risk, Loudon County officials like Mayor Bradshaw applied for a grant to fix the old poplar springs landfill.
"It was one of those ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure deals," he said.
It will cost around $175,000 to fix the cap erosion. TDEC will take care of half with a state-funded grant, and the county will pay for the other half.
"Loudon County would be on the ticket for the biggest chunk if something did go wrong. From a financial standpoint, it made sense to fix it rather than wait for something to go wrong," Bradshaw said.
People living nearby like Frances Humphreys were excited to hear about future improvements.
Her home sits just south of the landfill entrance.
"It was a struggle getting through it, but i think everything is going to work out and maybe something good will come from it," Humphreys said.
As a longtime resident near the property, she hopes the improvements will benefit their neighborhood in more ways than one.
"I think it's been kind of a slow process getting started, but once they got started I think it's come along real good and it's making the town look a lot more interesting for people to come and look and see things that surround them," she added.
Bradshaw said the work on the landfill should begin in the next several weeks.
© 2017 WBIR.COM