- Colbert County, AL commissioners voted this week to allow a landfill at Barton Riverfront Industrial Park to accept non-hazardous industrial waste and construction & demolition waste from across Alabama, as well as from three bordering states: Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia.
- The motivation behind the approval was to expand services for a more financially viable landfill. While some officials proposed to accept waste from all continental 48 states, Steve Witmer of CWI Enterprises said such a proposal is unlikely due to the landfill being a "regional business."
- A public hearing regarding the expansion of services garnered some opposition from residents who were concerned about the toxicity of industrial waste that could end up at the site, however Witmer assured the landfill would not accept any unapproved waste.
While the decision passed with a fairly approving 4-1 vote, it is no surprise that an expansion of services caused some debate in the community. Landfill expansion decisions are notorious for creating controversy, as many residents around landfills express concerns of health hazards, odors, or increased noise.
The decision to only expand to three bordering states is considered a "compromise," however resident Luther Bishop believes the decision could help recruit industry to the county.
"The landowners have spent a considerable amount of money to put in this landfill," said P&F Consultant Larry to Times Daily.com. He explained that the acceptance of waste from multiple states will show a payback for the county.