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Landfill survey reveals unused acreage at site

A recent inspection by the state Department of EnvironmentalQuality resulted in some good news that should extend the life of aBrookhaven rubbish site at the old city landfill.

Mayor Bob Massengill said DEQ checks rubbish fills periodicallyevery two or three months. A June inspection led to a revelationthat boundaries at the Brookhaven fill were not properlymarked.

In conducting a boundary survey Friday and Monday, Massengillsaid city officials and Engineering Associates representativesdiscovered additional land that can be used for rubbish disposal.Until the inspection, officials were concerned that one of thecity’s two sites only had a few months of life left.

“It ended up being a blessing to us,” Massengill said of theinspection. “We found we’ve still got some room.”

New boundaries have been marked, said Jimmie Cooks, interimSolid Waste Department superintendent.

Cooks said the survey left the city with “plenty of ground tocover.” The city rubbish site was estimated at around 10 acres.

“We’ve still got a little bit better than five acres to fillin,” Cooks said. “I’d say we have probably five more years ofdumping.”

Glenn Swaggart, engineer in DEQ’s enforcement and compliancedivision, said DEQ requested the city respond to the situationfollowing the inspection. He said department officials had made nodecisions on possible further enforcement actions, pending receiptof survey and other information from the city.

“At this point, the department has not received the officialresponse from the city,” Swaggart said. “At that point, we’ll lookat everything and see that is has everything we want to see.”

Swaggart said a DEQ concern was that the city could be out ofroom at the site. He said the survey data should show propertylines and boundaries for disposal activity.

“That will just verify that they are within their limits,”Swaggart said.

Swaggart said he had spoken with engineering firm and cityofficials recently. He was expecting the city’s response and surveyreport sometime next week.

“Both parties are being cooperative in getting the informationwe’ve asked for,” Swaggart said.

Swaggart said city changes would be checked during the nextregular inspection. DEQ officials did not say when that wouldbe.

The city operates two rubbish fill sites. Rubbish fill No. 1,which had the endangered life span, is used for minor constructiondebris and other mixed trash while rubbish fill No. 2 is only forleaves, limbs and pine straw.

“That’s why it’s so important that people do some separation,”said Massengill, explaining that keeping the two types of rubbishapart would help further extend the lives of the rubbish fills.

Massengill credited efforts by Cooks and Traffic SupervisorJimmy Furlow, who has also helped address some of the solid wasteissues. The mayor said they are working diligently to ensure fullcompliance with environmental guidelines.

One area where that is being done is making sure working”faces,” areas of the fill where trash is currently being dumped,are covered with dirt every two weeks. Massengill said heavy rainsin June made that difficult.

“Our plan is to have some extra dirt on site that we can use forcovering,” Massengill said. “I feel real good about the directionwe’re heading.”

Massengill said there were never any concerns about the rubbishfills shutting down. With current rubbish fill actions and thediscovery of additional disposal space, he said the city is now ingood shape.

“We’ve remedied the problems we’ve had there,” Massengillsaid.

The mayor also cited financial savings to the city.

With the expectation that the rubbish site was running out ofspace, Massengill said the city faced the possibility of having topurchase more land. Due to additional land being found through theboundary survey, he said those efforts are unnecessary now.

“We feel we’ve got room for the foreseeable future,” Massengillsaid.