Three aldermen named to study solid waste plan

Published 6:00 am Thursday, February 5, 2004

A subcommittee of aldermen has been appointed to review a citysolid waste business plan and a proposal, backed by Mayor BillGodbold, for the city to develop and operate a landfill.

Aldermen Dorsey Cameron, Terry Bates and Bob Massengill werenamed to the panel Tuesday during a discussion of the city’s solidwaste operations and board vote to privatize garbage pick upservices. The panel is expected to work with city solid wastedepartment leaders in developing business plan recommendations forthe full board.

Solid Waste consultant Butch Lambert said Phase One of thedevelopment process would include a review of the city’s solidwaste assets and ordinances and recommendations for newordinances.

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Lambert said that aspect of his work would cost $25,000.Aldermen did not act Tuesday to approve the Phase One-relatedexpenditure, preferring to wait for a subcommitteerecommendation.

Lambert is being paid $10,000 currently for his assistance inhelping the city prepare to privatize garbage collection services.Lambert estimated he has also put in 15-24 hours in helping thecity with the landfill expansion proposal.

Aldermen have not voted to pay for the landfill-relatedservices.

“We needed to vote on it before it was done, really,” said WardFive Alderman Tom Smith.

Lambert said he was asked help with the landfill proposal, andthere were some issues, such as property availability, thatprompted a “fast track” approach. He said about 30-40 acres southand west of the old landfill were being studied for possibleexpansion.

Godbold has touted the landfill as a money-making propositionfor the city.

Buford Clark, a Waste Management official who was in theaudience Tuesday night, said landfills depend on volume to besuccessful. He mentioned the company’s landfill in Natchez that ishaving low-volume troubles and indicated that Brookhaven could havethe same problem.

Clark commended the city for having a construction anddemolition site at the old landfill and for having a transferstation.

“You’ve pretty much got the best of what cities would want tohave,” Clark said.

Clark said landfills need 400 tons of garbage a day to besuccessful, and the best case for Brookhaven would likely be around300 tons if all area garbage were delivered to it. He indicatedthat would be unlikely since Waste Management would deliver itsgarbage to its own landfills.

“It’s hard to have a landfill in Mississippi now because they’reso many of them,” Clark said.

Aldermen then tabled the matter until the subcommittee couldmeet and come back with recommendations.

Regarding his services, Lambert said after the meeting that hecharges $150 a hour plus expenses. He said he would not bill thecity for his work unless he was told to do so by the board.