Landfill request withdrawn

Friday, May 9, 2008

Waste Management has withdrawn its request to develop a landfill on 595 acres along Pulaski Highway in Cornersville.

"Based upon a combination of technical and local concerns," Waste Management Market Area Vice President Tim Wells said in a Wednesday evening letter to Marshall County, "we have decided to withdraw our request of the Marshall County Board of County Commissioners for Jackson Law approval of this location."

The company's decision resulted in cancellation of a second public hearing planned for last night as required by Tennessee's Jackson Law, which sets out standards against which landfill plans are to be judged. The first hearing was Monday. Nearly 1,000 people attended, cheering speakers' comments on why commissioners should deny Waste Management's request.

"We won," Kathy Wolaver of Pulaski Highway wrote in an email three hours after County Attorney Lee Bowles received a letter she apparently anticipated.

"Waste Management pulled out!!!" Wolaver exclaimed. "They've formally given up on the site."

Waste Management said Thursday that it will not exercise its options to buy the 595 acres.

"There's really not any reason for us to do that at this point," said Robert Cheney, business development manager for the company.

Wolaver lives within a mile of the now abandoned site. Her log house was one of 30 homes that became a recurring theme in negotiations with Waste Management on how a landfill might be developed if permitted. Commissioner Don Ledford repeatedly asked "What are we going to do for these 30 families?" The question arose as commissioners negotiated a contract for a new landfill with the company that runs Cedar Ridge Landfill just west of Lewisburg.

Wells alluded to those discussions in his letter to the committee led by Ledford.