The County is making plans to develop a solid waste transfer station and recycling center possibly within the next year which may be located in the Smithville Industrial Development Park on East Broad Street.
Nothing definite has yet been decided but the Smithville Industrial Development Board and possibly other city officials are expected to be consulted and asked to give approval for such a move.
County Mayor Mike Foster, during the county commission meeting Monday night, said preliminary plans have already been prepared. "We have a set of very early plans but we're continuing to do some work on them. We'll be getting with Jimmy (Mayor Poss), the aldermen, and the Industrial Development Board to talk more about that. All of you on the (county) commission know that we have been working toward this end probably for the last eight or nine years. We have accumulated and allowed to build a fund balance that will be able to build (fund) that (Transfer Station) and a Class III/IV cell and to close most of the (existing) Class I landfill where it is now when its full," said Foster.
Foster said the county could still maintain a class III/IV cell because it is not subject to as many environmental regulations as a Class I cell and it would be mainly for disposal of construction materials. "We plan to go to a Class III/IV cell which is non-household garbage, which could be for construction materials and that kind of thing in the area where we are now (existing landfill location). But we would have a transfer station for household garbage (possibly at Smithville Industrial Park)," he said.
Under a transfer station operation, household garbage would continue to be collected at local convenience centers across the county, then loaded onto trucks and brought to the transfer station, where the garbage would be separated from recyclables and then loaded onto semi trucks and transferred to a landfill site in another county. DeKalb would contract for the garbage to be hauled out of county and for the disposal of it at a certain price per ton. The recyclables would be baled and sold.
According to Foster, DeKalb County would have fewer environmental worries about solid waste and could enhance its recycling capaibilities if it had its own transfer station. "It would be brought in and loaded on a truck and carried to whoever gets the lowest bid for taking the garbage. Right now, it looks like it would be Smith County or down at Murfreesboro. We would avoid much of the environmental liability and in conjunction with that have a recycling center where we could really enhance our ability to transfer and recycle primarily cardboard paper and plastics," said Foster.
Convenience sites would still be required throughout the county and residents could continue to bring their household garbage there or directly to the transfer station.