RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The landfill that takes most of Middle Tennessee’s trash is quickly filling up.
“Right now what we have is kind of an impending crisis as it relates to the amount of disposable capacity available for all of the waste that Middle Tennessee and Rutherford County is generating,” said Middle Point Landfill’s general manager, Mike Classen.
The vast majority of trash in Middle Tennessee and Rutherford County ends up at the Middle Point Landfill.
“If we don’t come to an agreement with the county commission on expanding this facility to be here in the community longer, at five and a half years from now this facility will close, and all of the waste that comes here economically from all of Middle Tennessee and Rutherford County will not have a home, so it will have to be transported many, many miles and hours away at a significant cost to residents,” Classen said.
Middle Point officials said they want a new agreement with Rutherford County, while Rutherford County officials explained that past attempts to reach a deal have failed.
“We have sat down in times past with them and tried to work out some common ground on what we would like to see as the host county. There have just been a lot of things in the past that we have asked them to do, and they have not quite fulfilled their part of the bargain,” said Michael Kusch, chairman of the Rutherford County Public Works Committee.
Both sides are meeting next week for the first time in a year to discuss whether the landfill can expand or not.
“We’re not against the renegotiation. We’re against the expansion as they would like to see it,” Kusch said.
“The most economical solution for Middle Tennessee, but also for Rutherford County, is to expand Middle Point here at its current location,” Classen said.
Before any decisions are made, Rutherford County officials has some demands they want met before it considers an expansion.
“We’re going to ask the same questions we asked a year ago that we still haven’t gotten answers for. Some of them are, ‘What would it take for us to be the only supplier of municipal solid waste to them? What would it take for them to cut Davidson County trash in half?’ Those neighborhoods out there are dealing a lot with the issues of odor and traffic and trash on the roads, so there’s a lot of things we’ve had enough of. In the end, for them to grow, they need our landfill to begin to fill in their expansion,” Kusch said.
According to Kusch, there’s always a possibility of an agreement, but the majority of the 21 county commissioners who would make that vote are currently against it.
“This is important to our residents because people here care about costs and they care about economics, and there is no other solution for managing our waste other than Middle Point, which will keep taxes down and economic benefits high for the county,” Classen said.