Brundidge landfill battle nears its end

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Staff Writer

Jan. 23, 2001 10 PM

BRUNDIDGE ­ Years of waiting are over for the Brundidge City Council.

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Tuesday morning, the council gathered for a special meeting for the purpose of adopting a resolution that will give Mayor Jimmy Ramage the authority to execute a contract with Brundidge Landfill, LLC for the opening of the sanitary landfill in Brundidge that is currently owned by BFI.

For the past five years, city officials have been working to find a way to open the facility.

"This has been a tedious task," Ramage said. "I think we’ve got a good contract."

The landfill was originally granted local approval by the city council when Waste Away owned it in 1992. It was then acquired by Waste Management in 1994 and the $10 million facility was never opened for operation.

"Opening of the landfill by BFI will culminate a project that began in 1990," Ramage said. "It was the feeling of the city in 1990 and remains the same today that the landfill will ultimately have a very positive economic impact for the Brundidge area.

"We look forward to continuing to partner with BFI to get the facility open."

With unanimous approval, the council members reaffirmed local approval granted in 1992.

"We’ve been on a roller coaster ride for five years," said City Manager Britt Thomas.

The 640 acres where the landfill will be is in the southwest corner of the city limits. The closest residence is about 1.5 miles away from the site.

Now, it is up to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to issue a permit so the site can be fully operational.

Thomas said the contract stipulated BFI will open the landfill within 120 days of signing the contract as long as nothing prevents ADEM from issuing the permit. The contract was signed by BFI officials on Jan. 16.

ADEM has been under a moratorium on the issuance of permits for solid waste facilities because of a case in Lowndes County. Because of the number of permits pending, ADEM officials have asked for an Attorney General’s opinion on the matter.

BFI officials are scheduled to meet with ADEM representatives on Thursday.

Assuming the permit is granted, the Brundidge landfill will be capable of taking in 1,500 tons of household garbage per day. It will likely open with 500 to 600 tons per day, Thomas said.

In the contract, BFI "agrees to accept non-hazardous and non-infectious solid waste from the City of Brundidge and the following counties: Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lowndes, Montgomery and Pike, including municipalities or other political subdivisions therein."

"This is basically, the same contract we passed in 1992," Ramage said.

It is a three-year contract that will automatically renew unless the city of Brundidge wants to review it and consider other options. The contract guarantees disposal of Brundidge’s garbage for 25 years.

Brundidge’s garbage is currently taken to a landfill in Coffee County.