- Rutherford County, TN is investigating multiple ways to manage its solid waste as its landfill, Middle Point, will close in about a decade. Among their research efforts, county officials are looking into WastAway, which could manage solid waste within a 75,000-square-foot warehouse, for $30 million to $40 million, according to the company’s CEO Mark Brown.
- In nearby Warren County, WastAway collects and shreds garbage, extracting metals with a magnet. Workers heat the remaining trash to make a potting soil or convert it into pellets, used as fuel.
- The rapidly growing Rutherford County also plans to visit Harvest Power Orlando Energy Garden to hear about composting approaches, and also travel to Edmonton, Canada to observe trash and recycling operations.
Middle Point landfill is dumping grounds for 258,000 tons of Rutherford County’s trash. The government’s current research into new waste management options, focused on recycling and waste-to-energy, are to prevent problems later in a county whose population is projected to reach 489,827 in 2035. The current population is 288,906.
Mac Nolen, Rutherford’s solid waste director, hopes the county’s five governments will form a solid waste authority in 2016 to oversee trash, recycling and composting initiatives. If they were to contract with WastAway for these services, workers would have ongoing training in the use of equipment.
Rutherford County resident Denise Carlton toured WastAway’s Morrison plant, and thinks the company’s capabilities show potential for her community.
"It's a big portion of the solution of unsorted household trash for the cost of a school," Carlton said to the Daily News Journal, adding she also was impressed with PHG Energy of Nashville, a gasification plant that converts trash to renewable energy.