BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
Numerous changes are coming to the Greeneville-Greene County Construction and Demolition Landfill, including a change in the name.
On Tuesday the Greeneville-Greene County Regional Sold Waste Planning Board voted to approve the application for permission to vertically expand the landfill.
Transfer Station Manager Zip Wright explained that this will not increase or change the footprint of the landfill, but will raise its vertical capacity.
Wright said the landfill has about eight years left before it would be full.
A vertical expansion of 50 feet could extend that lifespan by an estimated 30 years, he added.
Since this is such a major change, the manager reported, the landfill will no longer be "grandfathered in" as a Class IV landfill, which no longer exists under new landfill structures.
Instead, he said it must become a Class III landfill in addition to accepting the Class IV waste.
This will mean that the landfill can no longer be labeled as a "construction and demolition" waste site and will now need to accept farming, landscaping and land-clearing wastes as well, he added.
Wright recommended that the new name be the "Greeneville-Greene County Class III Landfill."
The board voted unanimously to allow Wright to move forward with the application to begin this process.
In other business, the board heard a request from Wright to accept a bid on replacing the roof of his administration office, which he said has leaked for a number of years.
Wright said that the only company to submit a bid was Ron's Millwright, for $99,770, including insulation.
Although the board had already approved for Wright to proceed with the project if the amount did not exceed $110,000, he told the board he wanted to bring it back before them for permission to include 32 skylights for a total of $101,690.
County Commissioner Robert Bird expressed his trepidation at including the skylights, saying that he comes from a time when people did not want holes in their roof.
"I don't want to take a high risk on a $100,000 investment to save $5 on lights," he said, adding his recommendation that the skylights come with a warranty if the other members desired them as well.
Before the board voted on the matter, City Administrator Todd Smith noted that this would be a lot of money spent at a time when the Town of Greeneville, as the landfill's fiscal agent, is interested in "fundamentally reviewing" the entire process.
Mayor W.T. Daniels agreed, noting that he has been impressed with the alternative processing methods being used at other area landfills.
Smith and Daniels explained that some municipalities are able to recycle up to 85 percent of their solid waste by turning it into compost, which is a commodity.
The Greeneville-Greene County landfill could either convert or ship their waste to one of these area facilities should it prove to be cost-effective, Smith added.
Bird encouraged further study and voted to recommend approval of the roof bid, subject to approval by the appropriate Greeneville board.
This, he said, would give the town time to further explore these alternative options before approving or denying the roof bid.
Town of Greeneville engineer and board member Brad Peters amended Bird's motion to also include approval of the skylights if Ron's Millwright is willing to provide a 10-year warranty.
The board unanimously approved the amended motion.
In addition, the board approved a motion to review all bids submitted for a replacement tract loader during their next meeting.
Wright also updated the board on ongoing efforts to reconfigure the transfer station following recommendations by Lewis Bumpus, an experit in the solid waste field.
Several of the originally-planned changes to the station would be too expensive or involve too much demolition to execute, he said.
However, he requested changes to the stations "hopper" and to the floor.
The hopper is the chute in the floor of the station that trucks can drive through so that the garbage on the station floor can be pushed down into their trailer beds, Wright explained.
The manager said that modifications to these areas could create more downward force as the waste falls into the truck bed, resulting in more compact loads.
However, the station can not be closed for the full period of time necessary to complete the curing of the concrete -- 28 days.
As a result, Wright proposed only operating half of the station at a time as the desired changes are completed on the other half.
"It's going to take a lot longer to load and get the trailers out," he added.
The board agreed to the proposal under the same conditions as the roof replacement, pending secondary approval by a Greeneville board.
Chairman Sarah Webster closed the meeting with the announcement that the board will hold a called meeting at the landfill when Bumpus is available to join them in order to review the proposed changes on site.