Representative Bryan Terry, MD (R-Murfreesboro) today announced he has secured $2.5 million in the 2022-23 state budget to initiate an alternative solid waste disposal pilot program for Rutherford and neighboring counties.
The program will provide an alternative to a proposed expansion of Middle Point Landfill while serving as a possible statewide solution for future solid waste endeavors.
The pilot program was recently presented to the Public Works Committee meeting of the Rutherford County Commission by former State Representative Donna Barrett who serves on the Central Tennessee Regional Solid Waste Planning Board.
The program includes educational, recycling, and diversion initiatives aimed at increasing the efficiency of solid waste disposal by redirecting it into a more sustainable, health-conscious, and community-friendly process.
Though the state has approved funding for the pilot program, Rutherford County, which will serve as the host county, must approve a resolution in order for the program to begin.
“The funding I was able to acquire is meant to serve as a legislative stamp of approval on the Central Tennessee Regional Solid Waste Planning Board’s 10-year plan to work towards solutions that do not involve the proposed northern expansion of Middle Point Landfill,” Terry said.
Rutherford County residents have for several years complained about odors, traffic, debris, and environmental safety from its surrounding communities. Concerns have increased since Republic Services announced plans to expand Middle Point Landfill. The proposed expansion does not fit within the 10-year plan approved by the Central Tennessee Regional Solid Waste Planning Board and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
However, the funding for the recycling and diversion pilot program in Rutherford County will help to move the county, and ultimately the other three counties in the region, towards meeting the long-term goals outlined in that plan.
“With the recent fire and violations incurred by Middle Point Landfill for operating an oversized working face on the landfill and for lack of a proper covering of the refuse, it is clear that the community needs to look at alternative solutions for disposal of solid waste,” Terry said. “The proposed expansion does not need to occur when there are significant problems related to the landfill impacting our community. It is clear that with this funding, the General Assembly agrees.”
This program is currently under review by the Rutherford County Commission and Gov. Bill Lee’s administration.
Rep. Bryan Terry, MD represents District 48 which is the eastern half of Rutherford County. He serves as the Chairman of the Health Committee and serves on the Insurance Committee and Calendar and Rules. His office can be reached at 615-741-2180 or at [email protected].