Controversial plan to expand Brevard County landfill

A heaping pile of trash could double in size in Brevard County. The county says it needs to raise a landfill by four stories. Some neighbors are telling officials, "no thank you."

The county needs the city of Melbourne to ok the plan. If the city doesn't go for it, the county will have to get creative. Right now, a lot of the landfill is obstructed by the tree-line. Neighbors like that. But if this proposal goes through, the landfill will be well above the trees. And several streets will be in the shadow of the dump.

Melbourne City zoning regulations say next year- when the trash pile gets 40 feet tall- the landfill on Sarno Road will close. But the county wants those regulations changed. The department is asking the City for 41 more feet.

"My sympathy is for the people who have to look at it," said Joha Ylonen, who has to look at it himself.

Ylonen is one in a group of a dozen business owners who do not want the city to ok the landfill enlargement. His workshop is behind the landfill, he worries about his property value lowering as the landfill gets higher.

"We don't have to keep piling it up, let's reduce it." Ylonen said.

Ylonen is also passionate about recycling. He picks construction debris out of the trash and turns it into useful things including skateboards, bowls, home decor. He says the county should be looking for ways to minimize landfill use, not depending on it.

"I pull things out of the public garbage, I use it, I find something I can recycle, that's my part, I can only do so much as one person," Ylonen said.

The county says there is no way to stop using landfills- landfills are necessary for hurricane debris and construction waste-and Brevard gets lots of that.

The solid waste department will bring their proposal to the City on Friday night. The discussion will begin. If it moves forward, eventually, it could come down to a vote.