Don’t Dump on Frayser!
Question: When should a landfill be next to an elementary school?
Answer: Never, not ever….under any circumstances!
This is about a proposal to expand (by 34 acres), an existing construction debris landfill that would border both an elementary school and a residential neighborhood. This proposal previously went before the Land Use Control Board where it was unanimously defeated. The developer, Memphis Wrecking, has chosen to now take this proposal before the Memphis City Council, where the LUCB ruling could be overturned. Many of us who are active in the Frayser Community are concerned that our City Council will be swayed by the supposed need for another landfill, and the quality of the overall landfill operation as it exists now.
I know of no one who disputes that Memphis Wrecking is a good operator of a landfill. That, for me, isn’t the issue, nor is the purported need. Quite simply, elementary school children should never have to equate going to school with a dump.
This issue is compounded by the fact that these children live and go to school in a community that is struggling to improve their circumstances. These children live and go to school in a community that suffers from lack of employment opportunities, poverty, and blight. But Frayser also has a number of groups, organizations, churches, and community activists who are, daily, working hard at helping Frayser become a better place for all who live there. To be sure, it is a struggle. But it is a struggle that is showing positive results. Private money is being invested in Frayser, growing the right types of businesses, housing, and jobs.
So, it is disheartening to see that there are those who believe this landfill should be approved by the Memphis City Council. It is disheartening for the children and educators at Whitney Elementary. It is disheartening for the many who are working so hard for Frayser’s resurrection.
This community and these children should not be told “it’s only Frayser”. How does anyone justify a dump, some 80 to 100 feet high, next to an elementary school and a residential neighborhood? Even the optics aren’t pretty. Does anyone need to be told that Frayser has a higher African American population percentage than Memphis? Does anyone need to be told that Whitney Elementary is filled almost exclusively with minority children?
Please, members of the Memphis City Council, don’t tell these children and this community that our City equates them with a dump. Don’t tell this poverty stricken community, these disadvantaged children that the City sees them as nothing more than waste.
Please, citizens of Memphis, let your City Council Representative hear your voice saying:
“Don’t Dump On Frayser!”