Landfill director hopes to hear results of state permit request soon

Published 6:00 pm Monday, December 25, 2017

An application for a state permit which would allow the Carter County Landfill to begin accepting brush is moving through the approval process and one local official hopes to hear a final word on the permit soon.

Carter County Solid Waste Director Benny Lyons said he has been monitoring the process for his request for a permit to install an air curtain incinerator at the Carter County Landfill. 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.

“I called them last week,” Lyons told the Elizabethton Star. “He said it had gone through the public comment period and they hadn’t heard anything from the public against it.”

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Lyons filed his application for the permit with the state in September, and the state has 120 days from receiving the application to render a decision to either grant or deny the requested permit.

“We are just in a holding pattern for them to get through the paperwork at the state,” Lyons said.

Lyons said so far, everything he had heard from the state has been favorable, and he thinks the permit will be issued without a problem. He had initially hoped to hear something in late December, but with the Christmas and New Year holidays leading to several days of closures at state offices, the process could be delayed somewhat.

“We should hear something after the first of the year is what I’m betting,” Lyons said.

In November, the Carter County Commission approved a request from Lyons to use $25,000 from the operating transfer portion of his budget to purchase an air curtain incinerator. Because the funding to buy the equipment has already been approved, Lyons said as soon as the permit is granted he will be able to purchase the equipment and get it installed and in operation within a few days.

Lyons is excited about the opportunity to once again offered the much-needed service of brush disposal to local residents. The landfill previously accepted brush but had to stop some years ago. With the incinerator, landfill staff will be able to burn the brush rather than it taking up much-needed landfill space. The design of the incinerator uses a curtain of air to prevent emissions from the burning process from entering the atmosphere.