Garbage flying out of dump trucks near landfill in Concord turning area into 'trash alley'

CONCORD, N.C. — A Concord councilman said there is so much litter outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway he is going to start calling Highway 29 "trash alley."

“We’re starting to police that area a lot more than we have in the past," said Councilman Terry Crawford.

He's pushing for more police patrols, because trash is flying out of dump trucks before they make it to the landfill directly behind the Speedway.

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The landfill is authorized for use as a dump for anyone in North Carolina as well as five counties in South Carolina.

Crawford said the trash problem has spiraled out of control, so now the city is discussing having police officers hand out tickets for littering.

Crawford explained, "We’re also talking about putting signs up that say if you litter this is what it’s going to cost you.”

Paul Matte has a special phrase for the garbage that's littered the streets outside his business for more than three years.

“Trash truck gravy. What happens is when it rains these trash trucks get full of water," he said. "The gravy ends up spilling all over the road. During the summertime it really generates a bad stench.”

Matte added, “I don’t want to live in a city where there’s trash all over the side of the road."

Channel 9 asked the owner of the landfill, Republic Services, about those concerns.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway Landfill responded with the following statement, "We take all concerns about the Landfill seriously. In this case, we have been in touch with local officials about comments they have received regarding litter on roadways near the Landfill. As a responsible landfill manager, we have multiple processes in place to prevent or remove any off-site wind-blown litter, including fencing, a natural barrier around the facility and regular litter patrols and street sweeps to keep the roads clean. We remain committed to being a good neighbor in this community, and we invite neighbors to contact our team directly if they see litter near the Landfill so that we can respond accordingly."

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Matte showed Channel 9's cameras the garbage on Tuesday morning and said it's clear that trash isn't being cleared often enough and that's causing his company embarrassment and a loss in productivity.

“I have customers who are coming in from out of town, and I’ve actually have to sent employees out to pick up trash before they get there," he explained.

He thinks the trash companies need to do more to make sure garbage is secured inside trucks, so it can't escape from loose flaps.

We have learned the landfill has already completed one phase of its expansion and even more expansions are also planned soon.

Crawford told Channel 9 that Concord now has a new task force that will focus on litter citywide.

The city is also looking into paying civic groups for every bag of trash they clean up.

Crawford said the mayor is also focusing on the issue of litter and is devoting his next quarterly article to the problem.