White County Solid Waste Committee discusses status of Van Buren County energy company

By | December 6, 2018 8:45 am

Solid Waste Committee with speaker Chuck Burgess (standing) and attorney Kelly Tollett (sitting in red sweater) (Photo by RIMA AUSTIN)

White County Executive Denny Wayne Robinson explained to the Solid Waste Committee, on Dec. 3, that the cell being used for waste at the White County Landfill is almost full and the committee should be preparing to do what it takes to get a permit to open another cell.

However, Robinson also reminded the committee about the project that is in the works in Van Buren County, Just Be Green Energy LLC, and how they will eventually have to make a decision as to whether they will build a new cell or become a transfer facility, meaning the county will transfer its waste to another county for disposal.

Over the summer, a waste-to-fuel operation was discussed between Robinson and Van Buren County Executive Greg Wilson. This is a facility that could potentially take 100 percent of White County waste and turn most of it into diesel fuel. Chuck Burgess, engineering consultant, was present at the meeting to speak on the status of the facility. Burgess and attorney Kelly Tollett were there to represent the energy company.

“I am here on behalf of the entity that is hoping to solve the solid waste problem in the Upper Cumberland,” said Burgess. “Not only White County, not only Van Buren but everything in the Upper Cumberland.”

Burgess gave a presentation on how the energy company would take solid waste and turn it into diesel fuel by heating it up. He reiterated to the committee that there would be no burning of the waste and, therefore, no burn-off pollution. He went on to say the project is still in the funding stage, but he does not see any problem from this point forward.

Robinson explained to the board there would be no reason to vote on the decision at this time. He just wanted them to know what their options are in the future.

Other items on the agenda included:

-Update on meeting with Caraustar Recycling: Caraustar said they were not interested in taking plastics at this time.

-Director’s report: White County Landfill Director Galen Barlow said both compactors are doing well, and there were no problems.

-Engineer’s report: Robinson reported that Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has determined they would like for the county to repair the original leachate collection system at the landfill instead of constructing an alternate leachate collection system.

The next White County Solid Waste Committee meeting will be held Jan. 7, 2019, following the Steering Committee B meeting.

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