Overman: Landfill has pluses

Published 7:56 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Decatur County’s landfill off U.S. 27 South near Attapulgus has produced more than $4 million in net revenue since opening in January 2008, county commissioners were told Tuesday night.

Jim Overman, chairman of the county’s Solid Waste Advisory Board, briefed commissioners about the board’s meeting earlier on Tuesday. According to county financial records Overman looked at, the new landfill made more than $1 million between February 2010-2011.

Overman said as a citizen, he finds those numbers encouraging, especially considering the county was operating its old landfill off Georgia 309 South at a loss of $500,000 per year.

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The U.S. 27 landfill, which receives waste from numerous customers based in south Georgia, Alabama and north Florida, stands to become even more profitable after the county’s recent acquisition of a larger waste compactor, Overman said.

Overman cited an engineer’s study that showed the new compactor would increase the previous compaction rate from 1,200 pounds per cubic yard to 1,850 pounds per cubic yard. That has increased the estimated revenue from $15.60 per cubic yard to $24.05 per cubic yard. Better compaction also results in extension of the landfill’s lifespan.

Overman said the Solid Waste committee supported the county’s effort to get an expanded landfill design approved, increasing its size from 28 acres to about 60-70 acres. The expansion has received preliminary approval but is still under routine state and federal review. The county currently owns approximately 200 acres at and around the new landfill. The committee’s members also support the county’s negotiation with BASF to purchase 797 more acres of forest land, which would be set aside for long-term landfill expansion and industrial use.

County Attorney Brown Moseley said he received an e-mail from BASF officials Tuesday indicating the negotiation was moving forward. Meanwhile, the county has commissioned a soil survey on the land proposed to be bought, as part of its due diligence.