Plan starts as eventual landfill closure anticipated

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Murfreesboro-based environmental engineer hired by Marshall County commissioners for development of a trash disposal plan is to meet with Cornersville- and Chapel Hill-area residents next month to get advice on what's to be done if and when Waste Management Inc. closes Cedar Ridge Landfill.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation have re-started their consideration of Waste Management's request for permission to fill an 11-acre valley between two mounds of buried trash at Cedar Ridge. That work resumed after Lewisburg's City Council decided against stopping the expansion.

If granted, the landfill could have seven or eight more years to receive and bury trash. Without the permit, the landfill might have to start closing within a year. It all depends on the rate of deliveries. Given the short-term uncertainty and the perception of a long-term eventuality, county commissioners sought advise on how to be prepared.

"During the development of the Marshall County Solid Waste Plan, we plan to seek public input from the citizens in the Cornersville area, the Chapel Hill area and the Lewisburg area via informational meetings," Bill Griggs said.

He's one of the principals of Griggs & Maloney Inc., an environmental and engineering consultant firm in Murfreesboro.

Quoting the county's request of prospective contractors like him, Griggs says, "We are to: 'Analyze the current Solid Waste Plan for Marshall County, including the cities of Lewisburg, Chapel Hill and Cornersville,; Take into account the assets of all entities and any overlap of services, and; use this information to create a comprehensive waste disposal and recycling plan for the county.'"

Griggs & Maloney is the consulting engineer for Chapel Hill and Cornersville.

That's seen by Marshall County Solid Waste Director Morgan Thomas as why hearings in those towns have been scheduled already. There's an existing relationship that made communication and planning faster.

Chapel Hill Town Administrator Mike Hatten announced last week during the monthly Planning Commission meeting that area residents are being asked to come to the town's meeting room in the Fire Hall at 6 p.m. on Jan. 5, a Monday. It's the regularly scheduled evening for the town's Planning Commission.

"We'll take any written comments on what we do about waste disposal," Hatten said of another avenue for citizen input beyond oral testimony on Jan. 5.

Griggs said Chapel Hill's Board of Mayor and Aldermen would hear from his company on Monday night this week.

"I plan to lead the meeting in Chapel Hill on Jan. 5," Griggs said.

"The Cornersville citizens informational meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8 ," he said.

That city's Board of Mayor and Aldermen meets that night at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

"We have not set the dates for the Lewisburg meetings yet," Griggs sad last week.

"During the next several weeks, we will be collecting as much information as we can," Griggs said.