MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — In a few years, it’s not entirely clear where trash in Middle Tennessee will go, but residents in Maury County fear it’s coming to them without warning.
The Middle Point Landfill in Murfreesboro, which currently is the destination for the majority of trash in Middle Tennessee, has made a request to expand, but it has not been approved, and they are in a legal dispute with the city.
However, when residents in Maury County spotted large trucks coming in with what appeared to be tire shredders, they started to investigate and found their elected officials and local leaders knew nothing about it.
When asked for comment, newly-installed Maury County Mayor Sheila Butts declined to comment at this time as she speaks to all the relevant parties.
Concerns were especially high given the trucks were heading to the old Monsanto Chemical Corporation.
“The Monsanto property is of great concern to us because there are harmful chemicals there that should never be disturbed,” Maury County resident Gale Moore said.
The Monsanto plant is listed as one of the EPA’s superfund sites, which means it has been designated as one of the country’s most contaminated places and there are specific rules concerning what can be done on that land.
According to the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation, Trinity Business Group and Barge Design Solutions have submitted four “permits by rule” for 2262 Monsanto Road.
The tire processing permit is considered “active” and the others for energy recovery processing, material recovery processing, and energy recovery processing are “pending,” according to the site.
Moore says she and other residents feel neglected by not even being informed this was happening before the trucks came and new gates went up.
“We are super concerned about it. That’s why we are doing everything we can to get the word out because like I say it seems to be a secret that this happened,” she said.
Moore also says she is worried about the Duck River, which is nearby where the proposed facility will be built. The river is a source of drinking water and a local gem, she said.
Yet, environmental activists like Scott Banbury with the Tennessee chapter of the Sierra Club say their top concern is air pollution from the incinerator that these groups plan to bring to the site.
“The things that are going to get burnt in this landfill. It’s our municipal solid waste from 30 to 34 counties,” he said. “It’s going to affect everything we have been doing for 20 years now to clean up our air in Tennessee.”
The paperwork filed by Barge Design Solutions says they are taking measures to minimize the impact of potential air pollution and will monitor for runoff from the site.
Barge declined to comment on this story and Trinity Business Group did not respond to calls and emails for a response.
Moore hopes that more public criticism will get a response from these groups and stop the plans already in motion.
“It already has gone too far and we have to stop it now because once these things get rolling who knows what can happen,” she said.