County could sign new landfill contracts soon

Published 12:24 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Decatur County may be close to signing a contract to accept the City of Blakely and Early County’s garbage at the county’s landfill, the Board of Commissioners learned Tuesday morning.
During Tuesday’s regular board meeting, County Administrator Gary Breedlove said that the Decatur County Solid Waste Facility is starting to become more of a “regional” landfill, because the majority of the waste stored there comes from outside of the county’s boundaries. He noted that the county’s recently-signed contract to accept trash from Seminole County is already paying dividends — it is expected to bring in revenues of $146,000 per year.
Breedlove said that the county is currently in discussions to sign a similar contract with the City of Blakely and Early County. If a contract is signed, those municipalities’ volume will likely be more than double what is currently brought in from Seminole County. The contract could conceivably mean another $280,000 to $300,000 in annual revenues to the county’s coffers.
“When we talk about the landfill, I think that we realistically need to talk about it as a ‘regional’ landfill,” Breedlove said. “Sixty to 80 percent of the volume we get right now comes out of Florida. We’re pretty close to working a contract with Blakely and Early County. That’s a good sign.”
Breedlove noted that contracts with outside municipalities are “win-win” situations. He noted that Seminole County is saving $40,000 per year now that it is transferring waste to the county’s landfill.
Breedlove also noted that the county’s landfill is not only seriously marketing itself to the region, but also trying to educate the public about its important role. He noted that Landfill Manager John Simmons and Keep Decatur County Beautiful Executive Director Suzanne Brandt, who has been helping with the marketing of the landfill, recently visited Potter Street Elementary School to talk to the students about the landfill.
Then, one week later, the students visited the landfill for a field trip. During Tuesday’s meeting, Breedlove read several thank-you letters the county had received from PSES students that took the field trip.
“This student said, ‘P.S., notice how I’ve reused my piece of paper,’” Breedlove said, noting that the letter was written on a piece of old schoolwork, and drawing a laugh from the commissioners. “This next letter should probably go in the county’s personnel file. This young fella said, ‘I like how Mr. Simmons did the landfill. Good work. You two really know your stuff.’”
Breedlove also stated that construction of an additional landfill storage cell, Cell No. 4, could begin later this summer.

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