Rutherford County forms new solid waste advisory panel

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MURFREESBORO _ An advisory committee, appointed to consider solid waste options as the Middle Point landfill approaches capacity, held a kickoff meeting Monday, December 12.

"Every jurisdiction in the county is represented here tonight, and that indicates how important this issue is," Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess told the committee, officially called the Rutherford County Solid Waste Advisory/Steering Council (SWAC). "We will develop alternatives, some short-term, some long-term, but the cost is too great not to have a plan."

Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland told the group: "We don't want to be the ones to kick the can down the road."

GBB Solid Waste Management Consultants, t commissioned to study the situation, made a presentation Monday night that included: an overview of the current status of solid waste in the county, the four municipalities, and in Middle Tennessee; the planning process; technology and management options; examples of ways that other communities have dealt with similar solid waste challenges; and plans for educating and informing the public throughout the process.

With the landfill expected to reach capacity in 8 years, the advisory committee will study ways to deal with solid waste at that time and beyond. The committee includes representatives from Rutherford County government as well as the cities of Murfreesboro, Smyrna, LaVergne, and Eagleville.
Rutherford County residents have paid no tipping fees to use the landfill, at an annual savings of at least $4 million, but when Middle Point reaches capacity, that will no longer be possible. Additionally, the County will lose host fees totaling $780,000 a year that 18 other counties annually pay to use the facility.

The meeting Monday night is the first of a series of open meetings, in which advisory committee members and consultants will map out and present options for going forward. The next meeting will be held in February, with an exact date to be announced.

Members of the advisory committee include:

Rutherford County
· Mayor Burgess
· Mike Kusch, County Commissioner (environ engineering degree)
· Lynnisse Roehrich-Patrick, former Executive Director of TACIR
· Dr. Kathy Mathis, associate professor, MTSU
· Merry Hickerson, County Highway Department coordinator

· Mayor McFarland
· Kirt Wade, City Council Member
· Paul Latture, Chamber of Commerce
· Joe Whitefield, Vice President for Facilities, MTSU
· Jeremy Harrison, All in One Recycling

· Kyle Brown, Assistant City Administrator
· Garlon Russell, Public Works Manager

· Harry Gill, Town Manager
· H.G. Cole, City Council Member

· Andrew Ellard, City Manager

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