For years, people from all over Creek County and beyond have been dumping their waste and debris at one landfill near Sapulpa. But, a decision Tuesday night could have those people driving a little farther.
The mountains of trash that make up the landscape at the Creek County Landfill are examples of the success the site has seen over the years. A family-owned business for over three decades, the dump has developed a loyal customer base.
"It's been a real good blessing to us, you know, just having it open and close and convenient," said longtime customer, Kenny Sam.
The future of the landfill could now be up in the air.
Mike O'Brien and his wife own the site. He says, when it comes to landfills, space is key. "Have an F-5 tornado come through and we'll be doing it next year -- we'll be closed down. It'd fill us up that fast," said O'Brien.
With the site filling up, the extra space is crucial for the family's business. Without it, they will fill to capacity and be forced closed.
O'Brien is applying for a permit that would allow him to expand the dump onto an adjacent 12 acres. That would require rezoning of the land from 'agricultural' to 'industrial', meeting O'Brien with some opposition from people in the area.
With two meetings Tuesday night, the decision is up to commissioners and committee members.
"The board members -- they're smart people. They'll listen to the facts and, basically, they'll do what has to be done," O'Brien said. He has faith that the situation will work out for his family and their employees, but worries for their future and the future of his customers; many of whom would have to drive farther to get to the closest landfill.
Leaving customers like Sam, hoping tonight's decision will lead to a bigger Creek County landfill.
"It's really important for us to have this landfill, right here in Sapulpa, close for everybody in the Creek County area," said Sam.
O'Brien encouraged supporters of the proposed expansion to attend those meetings Tuesday night.
They will be held at 5:00 and 7:00 PM at the Creek County courthouse in Sapulpa.
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