Lessons in trash

Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Marshall County officials touring Lawrence County's trash transfer station Friday watch a compactor bale recyclable materials for storage and shipment.

LAWRENCEBURG -- Marshall County leaders who toured Lawrence County Solid Waste Department facilities on Friday were cautiously optimistic on whether recycling and a trash transfer station would work for their county.

"There's got to be a lot of cooperation," said County Commissioner Don Ledford, chairman of the County Commission's Solid Waste Committee. "I'm impressed that they've made it work for themselves."

Commissioner Jimmy Wolaver agreed.

Lawrence County Solid Waste Director Gary Wayne Hyde led the tour of his operation for a dozen Marshall County leaders who realize local governments must be ready when Waste Management Inc. closes its landfill on Mooresville Highway. That could be in two to eight years, depending on state permits. Either way, something must be done with business and household trash, regardless of Waste Management's decision to withdraw its plans for a landfill at Cornersville.

Projected revenues for the Lawrence County Solid Waste Department are $1.6 million with the largest source of revenue coming from household fees totaling $54 per year, thereby generating some $730,000 annually, Department Finance Director Teresa Purcell said. The fee had been $64 annually.

About 70 percent of the residents beyond the Lawrenceburg city line pay private haulers to collect and dispose of their household trash, Purcell said. Fees for that service average around $10 a month.

Trash deliveries to the county transfer station are also by Lawrenceburg and county residents who haul their own rubbish.

Residents who don't pay their solid waste fee are sent notices, Hyde said. Overdue residents get a letter and are reminded they could be taken to court.

"They can get fined," he said. "It happens quite a bit."

County Attorney Charlie Holt's office prosecutes those who fail to pay. Recently the department received nearly $75,000 from people who wanted to avoid court, Hyde said.

The biggest expense for Lawrence County's Solid Waste Department is about $900,000 annually, she said. It's paid to Waste Services of Decatur, Ala., to haul the garbage elsewhere.

That's one kind of delivery received at the transfer station and recycling Pick up a copy of today's edition, Wednesday, June 4, 2008, for entire story coverage.