South Wake Municipal Solid Waste Landfill

  1. Where is the South Wake Landfill and how big is it?
    The South Wake Landfill is located in the southwest quadrant of the intersection of Old Smithfield Road and Highway 55 Bypass. The landfill covers 471 acres; only 179 acres will be used for the actual burial of waste. The remaining 290 acres make up buffers and soil excavation areas.

  2. When did the landfill open?
    The South Wake Landfill opened in February 2008.

  3. How long will the landfill remain in operation?
    The landfill was designed with a 25-year capacity; however, due to less waste being received during the initial 5 years than originally anticipated, the landfill is currently estimated to remain in operation for 35+ years.

  4. Why do the seagulls come?
    The gulls arrive in the fall (typically the first couple of weeks of November), from the Great Lakes primarily, to stay for the winter and then depart in the spring (typically in March).

  5. Are chemicals used to treat the odors at the landfill?
    No. Chemicals are not used to treat odors at the landfill. Methods are used to prevent odors from occurring, instead.

  6. Will I be able to see the landfill from Highway 55 Bypass?
    Currently, trees in the 290-acre buffer area between the landfill and Highway 55 Bypass make it difficult to see from the road. See the South Wake Landfill Citizens Committee page for links to visualizations of how the landfill will affect the landscape in years to come.

  7. How high will the landfill be when it is finished?
    The landfill is permitted for a maximum height of 598 feet MSL (Mean Sea Level). Much of the surrounding property in Holly Springs ranges from 300 to 400 MSL.

  8. Will my property value be impacted by the landfill?
    Studies across the country show that any impact from a landfill on property value occurs during site planning and permitting. Once a modern landfill is operational, there is generally not a negative impact on property value. According to the Wake County Revenue Director, property values at the County's North Wake Landfill increased 48.87% from 1992 to 2000, while the County average increase was 43%. Since 2000, property values have increased in line with the County average

  9. Who operates the landfill?
    Wake County has a long-term (25-year) contract with GFL (formerly Waste Industries) to operate the South Wake Landfill.

  10. Will my County property tax go up because of the landfill?
    No. The landfill operates as part of an enterprise fund; this means that the fees collected for the disposal of waste cover the total cost of operating the landfill.

  11. How will water quality/air quality be affected by the landfill?
    Today's landfills are engineered facilities with a sophisticated liner system that collects any water that comes in contact with the waste and transports it to a holding tank, until it is discharged as wastewater into the public sewer system. The groundwater around the landfill is routinely monitored through an extensive system of wells to ensure that the liner system is performing as expected. The results of the sampling of the wells are submitted to the State on a semiannual basis. The landfill will have an air permit issued by the state that requires routine sampling of air emissions from the landfill. The permit requires that any gas generated by the landfill be used as a fuel source or destroyed by a site flare to prevent emission of methane to the environment.

  12. What kinds of waste are accepted at the landfill? Will the site include a convenience station where individuals can take household waste and recyclables?
    The South Wake Landfill is permitted to only take municipal solid waste. Municipal solid waste consists of general household waste, waste from commercial businesses, waste disposed of at convenience centers located around the county and nonhazardous waste from industries. The landfill will not accept waste from outside Wake County. Individuals can continue to take their household waste and recyclables to the convenience center, the multi-material recycling facility or the household hazardous waste drop off that are located next to the landfill site.

  13. I’ve heard something about a South Wake Landfill Citizens Committee. What is the purpose of the Citizens Committee?
    A committee for neighbors of the landfill has been organized to assist the County with development and continued operations of the landfill. The South Wake Landfill Citizens Committee will bring together a group of people who live in the surrounding areas of the landfill site and who are interested in participating in the process and to assist the County in analysis of issues and in the decision-making process that occurs from the present time to the opening of the landfill. The primary purpose of the Citizens Committee is for the individual members of the committee to act as representatives of their particular subdivision and town to act as information conduits between homeowners' associations, town councils and the County on any issues that need to be addressed regarding the landfill throughout its operating life.

  14. Will the Committee have a real impact?
    Public participation is taken very seriously by Wake County and, in particular, a division that interacts with the public on a regular basis such as the Solid Waste Division. We are all citizens and we understand the importance and value of having citizen partners as a resource. A landfill committee formed at the North Wake Landfill met for 18 months and determined how the 300-plus acres of county land would be used after the landfill was closed to best benefit the citizens in the area and the community as a whole. The effort of the citizens resulted in the development of a comprehensive land use plan that reflected the recommendations of the committee. As a result of these efforts, one of the County's busiest parks, Green Hills County Park, was constructed.

  15. Who serves on the Citizens Committee?
    Volunteers willing to commit their time and energy. The Citizens Committee will have direct input to developing policies and procedures, general landscape philosophies, additional solid waste services needed or desired in the area, and ensuring that the South Wake Landfill will be a good neighbor.

  16. How often will the Committee meet?
    The Citizens Committee meets semi-annually at the South Wake Field Office, 6025 Old Smithfield Road, Apex, NC.

Have questions or need more information, contact Roy Baldwin.