Ridgeland votes to exit county’s waste plan
RIDGELAND — As the future of the NCL landfill west her remains uncertain, city officials voted to remove themselves from the County’s solid waste plan in a move one alderman said would expose an “outrageous” and “fraudulent” assessment and reduce the county’s need for an additional landfill.
Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith said that a decision made by alderman 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 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.
City officials unanimously approved a resolution of intent to be removed from the plan, 7-0, at last week’s meeting.
Smith motioned to pass the resolution and Ward 5 Alderman Bill Lee seconded it.
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 Mayor Gene McGee, Smith, Community Development Director Alan Hart, Public Works Director Mike McCollum and Assistant Public Works Director Ben Mays.
The last regular agenda item was to hire Blue Creek Consulting to assist in the matter. The item passed unanimously as well.
At the meeting, McGee said that they were still negotiating a fee with Blue Creek and approved their engagement on the condition that they would include a “not to exceed” agreement on their fee in their contract when the deal was finalized.
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.