UPDATE: Middle Point Landfill Smells and Finding a Solution to Rutherford County Waste

Oct 12, 2020 at 08:00 am by WGNS

3.7 Thousand tons of waste is taken into the Middle Point Landfill annually in Rutherford County. The Walter Hill site includes 808 acres of land with 260 gas wells and 10 groundwater monitoring wells.

An issue that has been the topic of discussion in recent months revolves around odors coming from the landfill. What many fail to understand is that landfill smells are quite intricate and require real science to uncover the source of one smell verses another smell. Furthermore, nailing down the source of a single odor often equals more science and more investigating.

For example, one smelly source of landfill odor at waste depositories all over the country is leachate. In Walter Hill, 46.7 million gallons of leachate is treated at the landfill each year.

Leachate is basically a liquid that leaches from a landfill that contains both dissolved and suspended material. It is made up of the undesirable waste that it passes through, which is why it is treated.

The leachate starts out as rainwater naturally entering the landfill and mixing with waste. Leachate is also the result of decomposing organic material mixed with other liquids or chemicals dumped as waste by Rutherford County residents and those in nearby communities.

It is a top priority of landfill employees at waste sites all over the country to treat leachate before it has a chance to mix with or contaminate groundwater.

The Middle Point Landfill continues to dive into the odor issues and continue to ask the community to report any smells they believe are coming from the landfill. Management confirmed since last Friday, Middle Point has received 98 reports of potential off-site odor. Of these reports, 10 were considered to have been potentially attributable to on-site operations, eight were believed to be attributed to non-landfill sources, and 80 were not provided in real time or close to real time or did not provide enough specific location information and were unable to be investigated by the on-site team.

Meanwhile, Rutherford County Government officials are exploring new ideas to better deal with trash in our community. Much focus has been placed on finding companies who can offer recycling and companies that can turn waste into fuel or building materials.

County Mayor Bill Ketron said that two companies have already shown interest in turning Rutherford County waste into a money making product…

However, building a facility that can turn waste into fuel costs millions and millions of dollars. In other words, solution’s may sound simple, but are not.


If you want to share information on odors with landfill staff, visit https://middlepointlandfill.com/.

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