Hinds supervisors join opposition to proposed NCL landfill
Hinds County supervisors this week formally stated their opposition to the proposed NCL solid waste landfill on North County Line Road in Madison County.
Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee worked directly with the Hinds supervisors in asking for their support in opposition to the landfill.
“I am excited to see the Hinds County board step up to the plate and offer their support,” McGee said.
He went on to say that the city of Ridgeland is “doing everything within its power” to bar approval of the proposed landfill.
“We have got to take care of our citizens,” McGee said.
The Hinds County supervisors voted to officially oppose the landfill stating that citizens don’t want a third garbage dump at the proposed North County Line Road location.
“This landfill would really be damaging to Hinds County,” said Credell Calhoun, president of the Hinds board.
Numerous citizens appeared before the board asking them to oppose the landfill, including retired Jackson Police Department officer Beverly Harris Williams, who presented the board with a petition signed by over 200 Hinds County residents opposed to the dump.
Ron Farris, a Madison County resident and attorney for No More Dumps, a bi-partisan coalition of citizens and businesses fighting the landfill, said that Hinds County’s opposition to a virtually identical landfill application in 2010 was cited by MDEQ officials as one of the reasons that application was denied.
“This unanimous vote directly opposing NCL’s application should be given serious weight at MDEQ,” Farris said.
The issue has galvanized a unique, bi-partisan, racially diverse coalition of opponents, including former U.S. Senator Trent Lott, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, McGee, Canton Mayor William Truly, Jr., Flora Mayor Les Childress, Central Mississippi REALTORS, North Livingston Homeowner’s Association and several other homeowner’s associations in Madison County.
The MDEQ Permit Board voted in early 2020 to take no action on NCL’s landfill application until Madison County studies whether the landfill is actually needed or not.
Hinds County Supervisor David Archie closed the discussion saying this action by the board “sends a very good message to those coming to Hinds County.”
Ridgeland, Canton and Flora have adopted similar resolutions formally opposing the NCL landfill.
Earlier this month the city of Ridgeland issued a resolution removing themselves from the Madison County solid waste management plan.
Ridgeland Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith said that a decision made at their regular Jan. 5 meeting to remove themselves from the county’s solid waste management plan will reduce the county’s future waste management need by 25 percent.
“As much s 25 percent of the waste generated in the county comes from Ridgeland,” Smith said. “Removing the city from their plan will reduce their need by a lot and if a future plan is done properly it will not include the city of Madison.”
Ridgeland and Madison already handle their own garbage pickup and disposal. Smith said that Ridgeland trash is not even deposited in the Little Dixie Landfill west of town.
He said that he hopes that the removal of the city from the county plan will show how “fraudulent” and “outrageous” past needs assessments have been as they included trash from the city.
The city board also voted unanimously to appoint a steering committee that Smith said would establish a solid waste plan as is required by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
The committee includes McGee, Smith, Community Development Director Alan Hart, Public Works Director Mike McCollum and Assistant Public Works Director Ben Mays.
Ridgeland most recently approved a new contract with Waste Management in June of last year.
A second landfill west of town has received vocal opposition from many in the city of Ridgeland. Smith has been a particularly vocal opponent.
The city’s position is that in addition to the landfill representing a nuisance in the cleanliness of nearby wooded areas and roads and generating a bad smell, a new landfill is unnecessary and interfere’s with the path of the city’s options for future expansion.
In January 2020, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Permit Board tabled NCL’s petition, saying they would not look at the permit until Madison County provided an updated needs assessment. MDEQ did not require or order the county to update its solid waste plan.
In June, NCL sent county supervisors a letter requesting the county update its solid waste plan, even offering to pay for the study. Supervisors voted 3-2 on July 20 not to proceed with an updated needs assessment.
In mid-October, Supervisors voted 4-1 to hire a firm outside of Madison County to do an independent review of the county’s solid waste needs. The change comes a couple weeks after the county was sued for $60 million by NCL Waste LLC, the developers looking to build the third landfill west of the city of Ridgeland.