Commission approves funding for landfill study, equipment

Published 12:22 pm Friday, November 24, 2017

Studies will soon be underway to determine how much life is left in the Carter County Landfill.

During Monday night’s meeting of the Carter County Commission, members of the Budget Committee presented a request to allocate $43,000 from the landfill’s operating transfer fund to pay for the necessary environmental study as well as purchase equipment for the landfill.

Of the allocated funding, $18,000 will go toward the needed studies to determine how many more years of service the county can get from the current demolition landfill, commonly called the “demo” landfill.

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The demo landfill is the depository for waste such commonly associated with demolition such as plywood, sheetrock, shingles, lumber, as well as furniture such as couches and mattresses. No household waste goes into the demo site.

Last month, Kim Raia, an environmental consultant from the University of Tennessee’s County Technical Assistance Service, told members of the Commission the demo landfill only has about three to five years of service left. She recommended the county begin the study process to determine a more exact figure on the landfill’s life so the county can begin planning for the future of landfill operations.

According to Carter County Solid Waste Director Benny Lyons, one of the studies will examine the boundary surveys of the current demo site to see how close the site is to the boundary. When the landfill was permitted by the state, a footprint for the site was approved. Determining how close the current landfill is to that footprint boundary will help calculate the amount of available space left at the current site.

The remaining $25,000 approved by the Commission will allow Lyons to purchase an air curtain incinerator if the permit to operate the equipment is approved by the state. The incinerator would allow the landfill to once again begin accepting brush, which would then be burned instead of taking up space in the landfill.

Lyons filed his permit application with the state in September, and the state has 120 days from that time to consider the application and then make a ruling to either grant or deny the request.

“I think it’s going to pass with no problem,” Lyons said, adding he has been in contact with state officials weekly throughout the process. “It seems promising.”

Lyons said he anticipates hearing a decision from the state sometime in December.

“If they say yes I’ll have the equipment here at our location and in operation within a few days,” Lyons said. “I’ve already had it appraised and everything that we need to do on our end.”

Lyons said he feels the incinerator will be a good addition to landfill operations. Not only will it allow the landfill to offer additional services to residents, but Lyons also said it would open up an opportunity for the landfill to partner with the City of Elizabethton.