- Boyd County, KY’s Big Run Landfill has officially stopped receiving trash via train from around the northeastern part of the United States following two years of residents' complaints of pungent odors. Under the detailed agreement ordered by county, state, and industry officials, the dump will only take in local garbage.
- As a result of shutting down the trash trains, EnviroSolutions must lay off 40-50 employees, as well as about 9 rail workers in Russell, according to the company's CEO and President Dean Kattler, as reported in The Daily Independent.
- Next steps in remediation will be to cap the current working area of the landfill and build new cells for continued future use, which Kattler estimates may cost up to $3.5 million, as reported in the Independent.
While the end of odors is a cause for celebration among residents, the community is frustrated about the layoffs, especially since 101 nearby CSX rail workers recently lost jobs due to problems in the coal industry.
"It’s not always just one person. We’re laying off families," said General Manager Jerry Ross to the Independent.
But the massive tons of smelly garbage had become a big problem, one that county officials and residents protested for a long time. The stench prompted multiple citations, and Boyd County's Fiscal Court eventually called on Kentucky regulators to shut down or drastically restrict the Big Run Landfill's activities.
"The cessation for rail waste is but one of numerous milestones required under the court action. I applaud the citizens of Boyd County for their determination, resolve and their continuing efforts to restore the quality of life that the landfill has taken away from so many people," said CBCEC executive board member Steve Cole said in a statement.
The landfill will continue to receive waste from a 75-mile radius and is seeking a new, five-year operating permit as the existing permit expires May 16, according to the Herald-Dispatch.