Landfill contract pending

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 6, 2002

Staff Writer

BRUNDIDGE ­ A new contract concerning Brundidge Landfill LLC may be signed, sealed and delivered after Thursday.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, the Brundidge City Council hopes to have a contract in hand for approval.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

City officials are looking to modify a solid waste management permit that would allow Brundidge Landfill LLC to take in more tonnage from more places. If approved, the new contract would increase the permitted daily tonnage of waste from 1,500 tons per day to 3,500 tons per day and increase the service area from an 18-county region to three states ­ Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

An increase in the average daily tonnage will also mean more money for the city.

Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas said, if the contract stays the same, the city will get about $1.7 million.

Double that figure and one comes to what the city could earn with the increase.

"We’re really talking about $3 (million) to $4 million, we think," Thomas said.

The council has not yet voted on the matter because "we don’t have a deal," Thomas said, adding the council members and mayor want to have a contract to review before making the final decision.

"The holidays killed us," Thomas said of the delay.

Until the Nov. 1, 2001, opening of the Brundidge landfill, many municipalities in the area were transporting waste to the Coffee County landfill. If approved, the landfill will be permitted to take in up to 3,500 tons per day from the entire states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Under Alabama law, the state’s Solid Waste Management Planning Act, administered by the Department of Environmental Management, requires approval of the local government before modifications of a landfill permit can be submitted to the state.

On Nov. 20, 2001, officials with Browning Ferris Industries, which owns the landfill in Brundidge, sent a letter requesting the city council to approve modification of the permit.

In an effort to alleviate fears of hazardous waste being brought into the city, Thomas said it will be "strictly municipal solid waste" put in the Brundidge landfill. Also, the way it is brought into the area will change.

"If the council elects to do this, it [solid waste] will be brought in by rail," Thomas said. "Because of the cost of transportation, you won’t see trucks like we’re used to seeing."

The solid waste will be loaded onto rail cars made specifically for garbage and brought into the 600-acre landfill before being unloaded by heavy equipment.

Thomas pointed out "there are things coming through Brundidge [via rail] that are much more dangerous" than what the cars going into the landfill will hold.

Earnest Kaufmann of BFI said his company does not accept hazardous waste and is, actually, "more conservative" than the Alabama Department of Environmental Management when it comes to accepting waste materials.

Any municipality or county which brings solid waste into the Brundidge landfill will have to be in compliance with federal and state regulations.

According to Kaufmann, Brundidge Landfill LLC has a 40-year lifespan for accepting household waste since, on average, a family of four generates 40 pounds of waste per week.