- EnviroSolutions of Virginia announced that Big Run Landfill near Ashland, KY will phase out all rail deliveries of out-of-state trash by the end of 2016, cutting the dump's total intake by 75%. Rail volume of waste delivered will drop 30% by the end of this year. Rail deliveries containing sewage sludge will end within three weeks, but the landfill will continue to accept sludge from local municipalities, including Ashland and Huntington.
- Last month, Boyd County Fiscal Court called on state regulators to shut down the dump, even though it provides more than $1 million in local revenues — much of it from trash being delivered from states like New Jersey and New York.
- Residents have long complained about the landfill's smell, leading to 10 odor citations issued since May. The Department for Environmental Protection has determined the landfill’s gas collection system remains deficient. The landfill's permit is up for renewal.
The Courier-Journal reported that the landfill was intended to be "a cash cow, with up to 90% of its waste coming by rail from out of state."
However, residents reported being sickened by the stench. When the Fiscal Court called for the plant's shutdown in July, the vote “was a small victory in a big war,” said Candy Messer, who with her husband, Kenny, are active with the Citizens of Boyd County Environmental Coalition. "There are so many people who are suffering."
Landfill fights are not exclusive to Kentucky, and the matter of landfills accepting out-of-state waste is particularly prickly. But landfills have a responsibility to their neighbors. In this case, those neighbors spoke loudly and were heard.
EnviroSolutions made the right call toward controlling waste in the landfill, as it seemed unable to control the odors.