- The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has posted preliminary plans to close the NABORS Landfill in Baxter County, AR, which is estimated to cost more than $18 million. This expense is incurred after the landfill defaulted on its $12 million bond debt and ceased providing waste collection services within the community.
- Who will pay and how it will be paid will be a decision made by the ADEQ and the receivership, who determine how bond holders are reimbursed, according to Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District (OMSWD) chair Terry Ott. The ADEQ says the landfill closure could start in the spring of 2017.
- Meanwhile, OMSWD is looking for ways to contain other waste management costs — for instance, the group recently voted to more heavily monitor waste collection fees and has also discussed leveraging a new state law to reallocate funds for electronic waste.
The focus now is on finding a realistic way to take on the enormous expense of the landfill closure.
"Are all six counties responsible for this?" asked Ott, as reported in Ozarks First. "Is a certain tax going to be put on each family to cover this for the next number of years?"
Last month, an Arkansas law to increase landfill tipping fees surfaced, warning haulers that fees may increase from $2.50 to $3.50. The increase would generate up to another $3.5 million in one year for the state’s landfill post-closure trust fund, according to Department Director Becky Keogh, which could help pay for this closure. However, the law is being opposed.
Meanwhile, the district has been unable to keep up with its other recycling programs "due to the fact that it's under court ordered receivership," according to OMSWD attorney, John Verkamp.
"This provides some additional recycling earmarked funds to use for that purpose," he said.