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Landfill expansion to get underway

Despite the ongoing revenue crisis for state and local governments, Decatur County is finding its solid waste landfill to be a “recession-proof” business.

Many tons of garbage arrive at the county’s modern landfill off U.S. 27 south near Attapulgus each month, from customers in Southwest Georgia and North Florida who truck it in weekly. All told, other people’s waste brings in more than $2 million profit each year to the county’s general operating fund. Representatives of the county’s citizen-based Solid Waste Advisory Committee recently reported there have been no issues with the landfill, which is surrounded by buffer space to reduce sight and smell issues nearby residents might otherwise have.

At their Tuesday evening meeting, county commissioners unanimously approved contracts for surveying and quality assurance associated with a planned third phase of the landfill to be constructed during the coming months. The third phase of four under the landfill’s original design will allow it to continue expanding to meet the needs of Bainbridge and the surrounding area, said Steve Harbin, the county’s consulting engineer on the landfill.

County employees will start work on the landfill’s third phase as soon as dry weather permits and will look to finish around mid-October, said Billy Leverette, the county’s former road superintendent and the supervisor for the third phase’s construction. The county will need to hire temporary workers, including drivers of off-road dump trucks and tractors, to allow County Public Works employees to stay busy maintaining roads, he said.

For Leverette, who oversaw county roads for many years and helped build the landfill’s second phase, this project will be the capstone on a long career of service to the county. He will retire June 30 and stay on as a consultant through the fall.