(WALTER HILL, TN) Middle Point Landfill's General Manager Mike Classen told WGNS News that the citizens would be better-off if the City of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County went to the table and renegotiated a new agreement with Republic Services/BFI that best serves the community.
Use the generated earnings and let the rest of Middle Tennessee to help fund the construction of schools, public education, parks, recycling, and more.
The Middle Point general manager said Republic Services is willing to go to the negotiating table and help to create a plan that benefits the citizens of this community. He stressed that right now there are no fees charged to Rutherford Countians to use the landfill. The new plan needs to maintain the original benefits and renegotiate a new plan from there.
Create Propane from Waste Gas That's Burned
He introduced an ecological idea that would save energy and be ecologically efficient. Classen explained that the flairs burning around the landfill eliminate the natural gas created within landfills. He said that Republic Services would build a renewable natural gas facility that converts the gas to propane, and feed it into the pipeline that runs near the facility . . .
He accused the City of "playing politics" noting that plans for the propane conversion plant were put on hold, because the City would not allow them to connect to the sewer for a restroom in the building. Classen said the sewer line was 100-feet away.
He noted, "Engineers were able to approach it from a different perspective, and hopefully ground will be broken on the project in a couple of months."
Classen said, "All proposals made by government entities add costs and fees to be absorbed by citizens. Our proposals cost residents nothing."
Landfill's Remaining Life
The remaining useable life of Middle Point Landfill varies by the entity making the prediction. Classen gave Middle Point's estimate . . .
Re-Cycle..."A Way of Life"
Classen noted that re-cycling needs to be part of our way of life, but it won't be if there is not strong civic and corporate leadership . . .
If we have a recycling plan and encourage the public to recycle, we can start to see less trash going into the landfill. If there is no plan, it will not work.
The Middle Point general manager offered a specific plan for recycling . . .
Finger-Pointing About Odors
I understand that this is a landfill, and when "complaints about odors are filed", we are naturally the first to be blamed.
He stressed that Republic Services continues to invest in technology that will resolve "odor issues".
Since the "odor controversy" has become a political hot potato over the past few years, the owners of the 400-acre landfill have had county commissioners take field trips to the top of the land fill on a regular basis . . .
Wants To Be "Good Neighbor"
Classen commented that Middle Point wants to be a good neighbor. He said Republic Services awarded a $120,000 grant to Walter Hill Elementary to build an outdoor STEM classroom. In addition, Erma Siegel Elementary fifth graders learned how a landfill operates during a recent field trip.
You heard correctly, the hill that many refer to as Mount Trashmore is 180 feet tall. Classen noted that the site was "more-flat" when BFI was given the right to operate a land fill there and purchased the property.
“That really is 180-feet of trash”, Classen quipped.
He explained, "No matter what is done, residents and businesses will have trash. By renegotiating an agreement, the citizens would continue not having solid waste tipping fees or other expenses such as a propane conversion plant or other technologies that are not thought of at this time.”
Classen concluded, “Without an expansion the landfill has 5 ½ years of life. With an expansion, it has 30-years. Republic Services wants to transform Middle Point into a fully integrated sustainability campus that is environmentally safe. "
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