RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The largest landfill in the region faced a setback in court after a judge recently blocked plans to expand the site. Now, Middle Tennessee leaders must decide what to do with an overwhelming amount of trash.
Since 1977, Frank Binkley has lived in Murfreesboro, not far from Middle Point Landfill, which has grown increasingly over time.
“Oh gosh, it use to be just a small little hill. I can even remember when it was flat. Now it’s huge, it’s a mountain,” said Binkley.
The trash site is an issue people who live near the landfill said reeks – from the size of the landfill to the stench and the traffic.
“You can smell it really bad in the summertime, especially if the heat gets above 95 degrees,” said Binkley, adding that probably 400 to 500 trucks come through the area daily.
A judge recently blocked Middle Point’s plan to expand north in Rutherford County to accommodate the capacity of growing trash as more people move to the area, leaving the future of Middle Tennessee’s trash in limbo.
As the largest landfill in the region, trash comes in from all over, including Metro Nashville, making the need for expansion paramount.
“We take about 4,000 tons of waste per day,” said Mark Classen, the general manager of Middle Point Landfill.
There are currently two options on the table.
“One is expanding north toward Jefferson Pike, and then one is actually expanding south and consolidating Middle Point with the closed, unlined Rutherford County landfill, and that’s really the alternative we prefer,” explained Classen.
On Friday, Oct. 6, Middle Point filed a motion to appeal the judge’s decision. Operating at its current capacity, the landfill has less than six years before it would need to close if expansion doesn’t happen. The result of a closer would be felt by residents.
“If Middle Point were to close, we’ll be hauling that waste over 100 miles away at significant cost to taxpayers,” said Classen.