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12,000 tons of Cobb County waste to be disposed of at Bradley County Landfill

From the Cleveland Daily Banner: An estimated 12,000 tons of waste from Cobb County, Georgia, is expected to come into the Bradley County Land

From the Cleveland Daily Banner: An estimated 12,000 tons of waste from Cobb County, Georgia, is expected to come into the Bradley County Landfill over the next six months.


This process has already begun, with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Solid Waste Management approving, on Oct. 30, an application submitted by South Cobb Water Reclamation Facility, requesting it be permitted to dispose of waste in Bradley County.


For a trial period lasting 180 days, 12,000 tons of Cobb County’s dewatered municipal wastewater treatment residuals waste is expected to be disposed of at the local landfill.


This change in Bradley County’s waste intake comes after a measure to approve solidifying liquid waste at the landfill was denied by the Bradley County Commission in August of 2022.


“You do know they’re going to go after all the sludge they can get now?” then-Commissioner Charlotte Peak said, following an 11-3 vote against a request made by the landfill manager, Republic Services, to begin solidification.


At that 2022 meeting, Commissioner Milan Blake showed video of the commission’s March 14 meeting, in which Mike Classen, general manager of Middle Tennessee post-collection at Republic Services, told the commission Republic would not seek sludge from Cobb County if the commission did not approve their proposal for solidification.


Classen clarified his remarks, saying, “I understood your question back then in March to be specific to that particular waste stream that we had coming in [from Cobb County], and voluntarily made the decision to not bid on again, so that’s specifically what I was referring to.”


Blake replied, “You said that you would not do that, and I think you should honor what you said.”


More than a year later, Cobb County’s waste has already begun coming in to the local landfill.


A list of conditions for this 180-day trial period were listed by TDEC in its Oct. 30 approval letter, including:

• A demonstration period report will be submitted to the Division of Solid Waste Management within 150 days of the 180-day demonstration period documenting, at minimum, the amount of the approved waste received during the trial period;

• The waste stream must be managed in accordance with Republic Services’ High Moisture Content Waste Operations Plan, which was drafted on Oct. 10;

• The first shipment of each day must pass a paint filter test prior to disposal. Failure to pass will mean the load is rejected, and follow-up shipments will not be accepted until the paint filter test is passed;

• A visual evaluation, conducted by the landfill, must verify the waste contains no free liquids, is solid in consistency and does not pose any significant handling or odor problems;

• Waste must be transported without release into the environment, by land, water or air;

• Waste must be placed in lined areas of the landfill;

• Waste must be mixed, in adherence with the High Moisture Waste Operating Plan, and covered immediately;

• If alternate daily covers do not mitigate odors associated with this waste, then soil must be used for daily cover; and

• The Bradley County Landfill will only accept loads from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday and not on holidays.


At the end of the letter, TDEC notes “if the characteristics of waste change due to any changes in the process generating the waste and/or any changes in the types or amounts of materials in waste, then [Cobb County] must stop shipping the waste … and submit a new Special Waste Application.”


On Nov. 20, the county commission approved renewing its contract with Envirosuite, which monitors the levels of gas emitted from the landfill.


Commissioners, as well as landfill management, will be receiving reports with forecasts for how conditions can be expected at the landfill over the next 72 hours, as well as reports on how conditions were at the landfill on the previous day.


Further, the Bradley County Mayor’s Office told the Cleveland Daily Banner a new function on the county’s website, bradleycountytn.gov, will allow residents to log complaints or concerns about the landfill. That website function will be operational through Envirosuite in a few weeks.