Elizabethton preparing to return to Carter County Landfill after long absence

John Thompson • Jul 9, 2019 at 10:59 PM

ELIZABETHTON — It appears the city of Elizabethton will soon be changing destinations for disposing of its garbage.

For nearly two decades, the city garbage trucks have headed west with their full loads to the Iris Glen Landfill in Johnson City. Now, the fully loaded trucks will be heading east to the Carter County Landfill.

Benny Lyons, manager of the Carter County Landfill, said the change would mean about $150,00 to $200,000 in new net revenue each year.

Daniel Estes, city manager for Elizabethton, said the city began looking at its alternatives when its disposal contract with Iris Glen was close to expiring. He said bids on future landfill contracts were requested. He said Iris Glen and Carter County were the only bidders.

Estes said the decisions was based on the contract costs to the city over a 10-year period. That included a five-year contract, with the right of continuing the contract for an additional five years. The contract sets the cost for 2019 at $34.25 per ton. The cost rises each year a 2028 cost of $40.50 per ton.

The county’s 10-year offer was cheaper, Estes said. In addition, he said there would be other savings because the Carter County Landfill is closer. That means fuel savings, manpower savings and maintenance savings. 

The contract was presented to the Budget Committee of the Carter County Commission on Monday night by Lyons. The committee voted unanimously to recommend the contrast to the full commission when it meets Monday.

By that time, the Elizabethton City Council should already have voted on the contract. The council meets Thursday.

If the contract is approved by both parties, it represents a return of the city to a landfill it helped create. The city and county were partners in developing the landfill and operated it through a joint board until the landfill reached capacity. After that time, the city choose to use the newly opened Iris Glen, while the county developed a transfer station to haul the county’s garbage to a landfill in Sullivan County.

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