(WALTER HILL, TN) There is actually bumper-to-bumper traffic inside the Middle Point Landfill as trailer trucks and dump trucks slowly wind their way up the two-lane gravel roadway that leads to the top of what is known by many call Mount Trashmore.
Rutherford County Mayor Joe Carr commented, "What you witnessed at the Middle Point Landfill is a daily occurrence. As you know and as I have said on numerous occasions, resolving the problem of Middle Point Landfill is our counties most urgent need. I will solve the problem. Indeed, we are already moving in that direction when the Rutherford County Commission approved my proposal to fund the design and engineering of a transfer station. We are moving to avoid a crisis of trash in our streets with all due hast as Middle Point rapidly fills up."
State Creates "Waste Boards"
In 1991, the State of Tennessee created Regional Solid Waste Planning Boards to, among other things, reduce the amount of garbage that is buried in landfills in our state.
This area is overseen by members of the Central Tennessee Regional Solid Waste Planning Board that includes Cannon, Coffee, Rutherford and Warren Counties.
Former State Representative and current Planning Board member Donna Barrett explained, "Our mission is to provide for our counties better garbage disposal plans that use less landfill space and offers more opportunities to recycle and reuse products, not only for our immediate need but long term as well."
By state law, the Board has the ability to deny any landfill expansion as well as limit the disposal in any landfill located within the region to garbage generated only within the region.
In April 2021, the Board denied a request to expand the Middle Point. That request would have added an additional 99 acres to the existing landfill. Middle Point has filed a lawsuit challenging our denial and we are awaiting the court’s decision.
Barrett said, "We have taken two significant steps this year that can show a marked decrease in the number of daily disposals beginning January 1, 2023. In my opinion, it is foolish to think we can continue to bury trash and forget about it. Our community and our land deserve a better approach."
Waste Could Soon Be Limited
Earlier this year, the Board voted to limit disposal to the Middle Point landfill (or any other landfill in the region) to only solid waste generated in the region. That action will eliminate 70 per cent of the garbage coming into the landfill on an annual basis. Remember, this region consists of Cannon, Coffee, Rutherford and Warren counties.
In 2019, the GNRC (Greater Nashville Regional Council) reported that 70.27 per cent of the landfill contributions at Middle Point were out of our region. Currently the bumper to bumper traffic you see contains garbage from the following:
- Davidson 46.90%
- Sumner 4.29%
- Wilson 4.04%
- Williamson 3.29%
- Maury 2.84%
- Lincoln 2.65%
- Bedford 2.29%
- Franklin 2.23%
- Overton 1.73%
70.27 per cent Total Out of Region Contribution
That means that if the ruling for actions by the Central Tennessee Regional Solid Waste Planning Board, on January 1, 2023 that the garbage allowed in the Middle Point Landfill will only be from Rutherford and Coffee Counties (Warren and Cannon Counties take their trash to other landfills).
- Rutherford 23.07%
- Coffee 2.55%
25.62 per Cent In Region Contribution. This amount is currently included with the garbage from nine other areas of the Volunteer State.
Barrett continued, "In my opinion, it is foolish to think we can continue to bury trash and forget about it. Our community and our land deserve a better approach."
As of January 1, 2023, we may actually see the solid waste that's trucked-into the Middle Point Landfill in Walter Hill reduced by almost 75 per cent. WGNS News will keep you informed.
The Middle Point Landfill is operated by Republic Services, and WGNS has attempted to reach them, but has been unsuccessful. The radio station will continue to arrange a time to have Republic representatives on one of the local talk shows or to get statements form them.
Here are other WGNS News stories concerning the Middle Point Landfill