Colbert Co., Tri-Cities to take waste to Decatur-Morgan Landfill

Alabama Department of Environmental Management
Alabama Department of Environmental Management(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 7:58 AM CDT
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COLBERT Co., Ala. (WAFF) - With the Cherokee Industrial Landfill temporarily closed due to environmental regulations and the Franklin County Landfill struggling to meet demands. Colbert County and the cities of Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia will be hauling all solid waste to the Decatur-Morgan County Landfill.

The Cherokee Landfill was temporarily shut down by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management in March due to violations regarding leachate levels. Leachate is liquid waste that forms in landfill cells.

Following the closure, Colbert County Commission Chairman Tommy Barnes said the county had agreed to dump waste at the Franklin County Landfill if necessary.

According to WAFF’s newspaper partner, The Times Daily, April 27 was the final day that Colbert County, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia were able to dump their waste at the Franklin County Landfill.

The Franklin County Solid Waste Manager told the Times Daily his department does not have the manpower or equipment to handle the influx of waste.

Colbert County, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia will now be taking their waste to the Decatur-Morgan Landfill in Trinity as a result of the Franklin County Landfill’s decision to turn them away.

The Decatur-Morgan Landfill was fined just over $30,000 by ADEM in February for failing inspections in 2021 and 2022.

According to an official with Muscle Shoals Public Works, the new landfill is about 40 miles from their shop and will cost $27 per ton of waste. The cost at the Franklin County Landfill was $25 per ton and the county and cities were paying $10 per ton to dump at the Cherokee Landfill.

An official with the Colbert County Commission told the Times Daily that officials are searching for a facility in Mississippi to dump waste from the west end of the county.

On March 7, the company leasing the Cherokee Landfill (CWI) filed for bankruptcy. As a result of the filing, a case filed against the company by the Tri-Cities Solid Waste Authority in the Colbert County Circuit Court was shut down.

Bo Stanley, the Director of Tuscumbia Public Works told the Times Daily the city will likely file a claim against CWI for the costs incurred by hauling waste to landfills in Franklin and Morgan counties.

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