There are times when you have to “take one for the team”. We are taught to put others’ needs before our own. These are good attributes, but there are also times when a community must stand up for itself.

My family and I are long-time homeowners in a tiny neighborhood of 20 homes called Woodland Springs in Southern Madison County just a few miles west of Ridgeland. We have other neighbors in a larger rural neighborhood off North Livingston Road and others scattered nearby. Many of these people have lived here for four to five generations. Literally, some of these people’s ancestors were slaves on this very land.




Now, a big garbage company wants to build a landfill within one mile of our neighborhood. If this were the first landfill in our neighborhood, then maybe it’s just our turn. However, this will make two landfills within a mile of our house and three landfills in Madison County.

Madison County is already the only county in the state with two landfills, and now the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality permit board is set to approve a third on December 10th. Canton recently expanded its landfill to meet local needs for the next 80 years. So, I cannot begin to understand why there is a need for a third one.

I have tried to get answers. In September, I even spoke out at MDEQ’s public meeting at Tougaloo. They called it a “one-on-one question and answer time with DEQ staff.” But I can tell you, my questions were not and have not since been answered.

According to state law, a landfill cannot be located within one mile of 20 houses. So MDEQ does not appear to be abiding by its own regulations, besides the fact that Madison County does not need another landfill according to the experts.

Why would our County Board of Supervisors allow this? I cannot tell you, because they won’t tell us.

We are to the point of desperation in our neighborhood. We already have the stench, pollution, big garbage trucks zooming down Greens Crossing Road, deflated property values and nasty fumes affecting our children. I believe this is a case of environmental and socioeconomic injustice.

We have a number of Republican and Democrat officials trying to help us, but we need Governor Phil Bryant. MDEQ answers to him. This is his legacy to our families and Madison County.

I am a registered nurse, and when I get home from a long shift and get out of my car at night, I smell pure gas from the existing landfill. I have two grandchildren who I want to play in my yard, but I don’t know how the poor air quality is harming them.

I hope the MDEQ permit board considers if they would want a dump at their back door? Would they want their grandchildren out playing in gas fumes in the yard? We all know the answer.

We need Governor Bryant to stop this deal and put our interests before those of some big garbage company. He can be the hero in this story. The people of our neighborhood and Madison County have already done our part. Our families, homes, property values and quality of life are worth more than a disposable waste facility site.


Cynthia McGilbery is a homeowner in the Woodland Springs neighborhood within a mile of the proposed landfill site in Madison County.