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Carter County may no longer bury waste at its landfill in the future

John Thompson • Updated Jan 2, 2018 at 9:51 PM

ELIZABETHTON — In the near future, Carter County may no longer be burying waste material in the Carter County Landfill.

Landfill Manager Benny Lyons discussed the facility’s future during Tuesday’s meeting of the Carter County Commission’s Landfill Committee. The facility’s demolition landfill is nearing capacity. The large household waste landfill was filled up several years ago and a transfer station was built to collect household waste and move it on to a commercial landfill for final disposition.

Lyons said the same strategy might work once the demolition landfill is full. He suggested it might be more cost effective to redesign the transfer station so it could take both household waste and demolition materials.

“There are more and more regulations on demolition landfills,” Lyons told the committee. “There are no more Class IV landfills, we would have to build a Class III.”

Not only would there be a large initial cost in building a new demolition landfill, Lyons said that cost continues into the future, even after a landfill has been filled up and closed.

“You have to baby-sit them for a long time. It was once a 30-year period after it closed, but there are landfills in West Tennessee that are now going past 30 years,” Lyons said.

Instead of the major investment and long commitment, Lyons said transferring the county’s demolition material to a commercial landfill might be the best plan.

“There are three commercial landfills in our area,” Lyons said.

Committee member Robert Carroll made a motion to request a cost analysis of modifying the county’s transfer station to take on the large mission of accepting two waste streams. Charles Von Cannon seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

In another committee meeting on Tuesday, the Rules and By-laws Committee took no action on a recommendation that citizens would need recognition from a county commissioner before they could speak during the time for citizens to speak at the County Commission meetings.

Mayor Leon Humphrey and committee member Nancy Brown spoke out against any restriction on the rights of citizens to speak at commission meetings.

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