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Landfill considering change to free dumping agreement

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NASHVILLE – A long-standing, but unwritten, agreement with the local division of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department should be renegotiated, said Upper Southwest Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Management District director Max Tackett at the most recent quarterly meeting of the group’s board Tuesday morning.
Tackett said that the agreement, reached under his predecessor after AHTD repaired the entrance area to the landfill north of Nashville at no cost, allowed the highway department to dump their solid waste at the landfill also for no cost. Tackett said that though the agreement had been sustainable for several years, recently the department had been sending very large amounts of waste, especially wood, from as far as Bradley. “You’re not seeing one truck – they’re sending three trucks at a time, sometimes multiple times a day,” Tackett reported, going on to say, “I’m not saying that we don’t appreciate what they did back then, but they’ve more than gotten their money’s worth and are now starting to abuse a handshake agreement. It’s time to sit down and have a talk with them.”
Though the board, made up of local county judges and city mayors that participate in the waste management district, did not make a motion, they generally agreed with Tackett that a discussion should be had with representatives of the highway department.
The remainder of the meeting was largely taken up by discussion of various efforts to comply with Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality standards. Tackett detailed efforts to obtain permits for opening new landfill cells on property recently acquired by the group, saying that current cells would last around six years, and he wanted to have the permit in hand as soon as possible.
He also talked about a recent requirement that the landfill begin placing gas monitoring wells, saying that the system the landfill had previously used – monitoring gas levels through water wells – was no longer acceptable. He did say that the multiple wells could be bid to a local driller, and that he expected that the group would be required to flare methane the comes up through the wells.
A third issue he brought up was his intention to seek a permit to process leachate, the liquid that results from decomposing trash, on site through evaporation rather than hauling it to Texarkana.
Aside from the various compliance issues, Tackett reported that program costs for various activities at the Upper Southwest Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Management District had increased, at least on paper. He noted that the tire shredding program had purchased multiple replacement parts for the conveyor and shredder, and that those costs would likely not be repeating in such volume. He also reported the loss of a pump due to flooding last month. The repairs to the pump, as well as rental of a replacement while the damaged pump was repaired, cost more than $25,000.
The other major items reported to the board included Tackett’s plan to continue applying for funds to handle electronics waste as they had been in the past, despite some interpretations that recent legislation allows broader use for those funds. He also disclosed that the organization’s audit, conducted by Malone and Banks of Arkadelphia, had shown no irregularities.

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