Authority looks to purchase new Colbert County property for landfill

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – Residents in Colbert County may be using a new landfill by the end of the year. The Shoals Solid Waste Authority has voted to begin negotiations with a private landfill to purchase it.

The mounds grow on a daily basis. For fifty years, this property has taken everything from municipal waste to debris and construction materials.

According to Tuscumbia Mayor and Shoals Solid Waste Authority Chairman Kerry Underwood, its end is drawing near.

“Really for us, it was a matter of time, because our landfill has about two years left on it and the typical permitting takes anywhere from five to seven years and longer,” Underwood said.

With very little time to act, the Shoals Solid Waste Authority has come up with a solution.  Sixteen miles to the west, a private company has opened an inert landfill. It can accept yard debris, industrial waste, and construction materials.

“It gets us into a place we can know that the needs of the county and all of the cities within it are taken care of for a long period of time. We are talking 25 to 40 years,” Underwood stated.

So the Shoals Solid Waste Authority has started to negotiate with the owner. Under a possible agreement, the authority would own the property and ADEM permit, and the current owner would operate it.

“The household waste will be treated as always,” explained Underwood. “It will be taken to the transfer station and then shipped to Mississippi as always. That’s not changing at the moment. We are just strictly doing what typically goes into the landfill that we have now.”

Residential garbage rates are expected to also stay the same, along with the standard curbside debris collection. It would just be traveling a bit further down the road.

As for the 11 employees who work at the current Colbert County Landfill, they will be extended the opportunity to go to work for the new company overseeing the Cherokee location.

There has not been a value placed on the transaction.

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