Bedford joins regional waste authority

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SHELBYVILLE -- The temporary closure of Cedar Ridge Landfill at Lewisburg has prompted Bedford County to join a regional Inter-local Solid Waste Authority with Lincoln, Giles and Franklin counties and Tullahoma.

Trash from Bedford County convenience centers used to be trucked to Cedar Ridge, owned by Waste Management, which would still accept it for $30 per ton at a Maury County transfer station. Bedford had been paying $23.24 per ton at Cedar Ridge.

Bedford is now dumping waste in Middle Point Landfill at Walter Hill north of Murfreesboro after county commissioners voted to join the ISWA. However, the distance and higher diesel fuel prices are problematic.

Furthermore, Waste Management's price of $30 per ton in Maury County was guaranteed for only a year. And until ISWA negotiates a new long-term contract, the county must deal separately with the Allied Waste landfill in Rutherford County.

Allied Waste, the business now serving Lewisburg residents, owns Middle Point Landfill. Allied offered Bedford a three-year contract for $30 per ton.

ISWA negotiated price of $19.16 per ton at Middle Point but Lincoln, Franklin, Giles and Tullahoma actually pay Allied Waste a total of $28 per ton because they take their garbage to transfer stations operated by the company and have Allied to transport it the rest of the way to the landfill. Bedford continued its own transportation.

The distance to dump at Middle Point is 90 miles round trip for Bedford. It had been 30 miles one way to Cedar Ridge from Bedford convenience centers.