JACKSON – Alcorn County received unanimous approval Thursday from the state environmental agency to expand the county’s current rubbish collection site by 3.2 acres but heard nothing on its request for a new landfill.
The Commission on Environmental Quality finalized the permitting for the added acreage, which expands the Farmington Road site to 15 acres, said county engineer Ricky Newcomb.
“We’ll have six to nine months now if everything stays at the same disposal rate, then it will be at capacity,” Newcomb said. “In the next month or two we’ll begin the process to properly close it down.”
The decision on the county’s expansion request has been in limbo for months and was postponed from an Aug. 26 meeting.
The closing of one site means an alternative disposal site must be available, but the commission on Thursday did not answer the county’s request for a permit on Forrest School Road property for a new rubbish site.
“MDEQ has said the county must inform the public about the cost of a new landfill and how they’re going to pay for it, so there will have to be a public hearing on that,” said Lisha Hopper, spokeswoman for a community group that opposes a new rubbish site in the Wenasoga community. “We’ve said all along and still contend that the cheapest, safest and most reasonable option would be to transport rubbish out of the county, and they wouldn’t have to raise taxes to do it.”
The debate over the new site on Forrest School Road has been going on for almost two years. The supervisors voted 3-2 in February 2009 to apply for the permit, despite objections from neighbors of the proposed site.
Newcomb said he has developed and provided to supervisors information about the cost of establishing the Forrest School Road rubbish site and operations cost, comparing it to trucking rubbish away from the county.
“We’ll probably have to have a public hearing on that and submit it to MDEQ as an amendment,” Newcomb said, “but I was glad to have good news on Farmington Road.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal