Turnout was light turnout for solid waste meeting

Published 7:49 pm Friday, August 11, 2006

A light turnout at Thursday’s Solid Waste Authority meeting lead to only light discussion, but should pave the way to progress by the next meeting.

With the absence of the authority’s chairman Richard Swenson, the meeting withheld taking any action so all sides could be presented in a fair fashion, however the authority plans to have a vote by the next meeting still to be set.

“I would really like to get this done, I really would,” said Waste Management Regional Manager Mike Hall.

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Those in attendance show little resistance to the proposal Waste Management has turned in to the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors. Randy Holland, however, did say he wanted to work out a new host agreement so the county would not lose out on any potential benefits.

Hall said without the host agreement all the momentum of Central Landfill would be on Waste Management’s side, making it unfair.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said he would like to see the board of supervisors and Waste Management work out a fair arrangement on the host agreement that would better serve the county and the company. Such an agreement would include a stipulation concerning a rise in profit margins for Waste Management leading to an increase in county benefits, Lumpkin said.

If Waste Management’s proposal is approved by the authority, then Lumpkin said he and Hall would work out a reasonable host agreement, but the proposal process needs to move forward first.

Hall said the foot print expansion, or available area to store waste, included in the proposal would possibly take until 2009 to complete if the authority decides to vote to move forward and it is approved by the board of supervisors. Hall said permit applications are the main cause for the delay.

Holland said if the company does not get approval for the footprint expansion then no more cells, or places to store waste, will be built at Central Landfill.

County wide pickup was discussed, but is still in infancy stages of discussion with no real plans to even consider it. Lumpkin said county wide pickup could use zoning of the county, but would need to be fair so no zone is entirely rural leaving a carrier with a sparse pickup area.

Authority member Jerry Odom said he would like to see some guidelines for residents to follow, such as keeping waste contained and at a certain distance from the road to make carrier’s job easier.

Hall was asked if he would consider participating in the county wide program, to which he brought up staffing problems.

“I don’t want any business I can’t do right,” Hall said, opposing the idea.

One other aspect of county wide pickup would include carrier accountability, since after the storm there were some new carriers who came into the picture who took residents’ money and did little to no work.

The date for the next meeting will be set when all authority members are contacted and can be available.