Although the county's existing Class I landfill still has a remaining life of a year and seven months, the new solid waste transfer station could begin operation by late summer.
The transfer station is located in the Smithville Industrial Park on Highway 70 east behind Tenneco Automotive.
County Mayor Tim Stribling told WJLE Friday that the conversion from the landfill to the transfer station could begin in August or September. Some work yet remains to be done before the facility is completed. Under an agreement with the county, the City of Smithville has installed a waterline to the site and the county will have to pave the road leading to the transfer station.
"The water line is almost fully connected. They may lack just a little bit but basically it's in. We're just waiting for warmer weather to have the water turned on. We'll be advertising bids within the next few weeks for paving of the road. We've got to get the road paved from Moog Boulevard over to the transfer station. We'll also have to buy some minor office equipment and a loader to be able to load the garbage into the trucks at the transfer station. We'll also have to advertise bids for the hauling of the waste to Smith County," said County Mayor Stribling.
In a report to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Division of Solid Waste Management dated January 27, 2016, Ronnie Reece of Professional Engineering Services of Sparta wrote that the remaining life of the Class I Landfill for the DeKalb County Felts Cell "D"/Vickers Tract (off Highway 70 and Billings Road in eastern DeKalb County) is one year and seven months. The landfill is estimated to be filled to capacity during the month of July 2017.
"The landfill life calculations are based on projected amounts of waste received and an estimated compaction rate. If any of these projected quantities change during the continued operation of the Class I Landfill facility, so will the life of the landfill," according to Reece's report.
"A lot of the life of the landfill depends on the compaction rate. From January 2010 to December 2015 the numbers have been really good. From January 2016 to December 2016 the estimated waste remaining (that can be dumped in the landfill) is 20,180 tons and from January 2017 to July 2017 the estimated waste remaining would be 7,763 tons. That gives us a remaining life of one year and seven months," said Stribling.
According to County Mayor Stribling, once the transfer station is open for the disposal of household waste, the existing landfill can still be used for dumping construction materials and other non-household garbage until a Class III/IV site is developed in a new cell there.
"We'll still have to use the landfill somewhat because this Class I landfill we have takes construction debris. But all household garbage will be going to the transfer station (once its open). After we open up another cell, a Class III landfill for construction debris and things like that we'll close this Class I site," Stribling continued.
In August, 2014 the county commission voted to enter into a five year contract with Smith County to dispose of DeKalb County's household solid waste at the rate of $29.00 a ton after the transfer station becomes operational.
In some cases garbage from DeKalb County pickup locations (convenience sites) closer to the Smith County line than Smithville may be hauled by DeKalb County garbage trucks directly to Smith County. "For instance the one in Alexandria, if we pick it up (garbage) and bring it back on our truck and dump it at the transfer station and then we pay somebody to haul it back to Smith County, we could instead pick it up directly at the site in Alexandria and take it on to Smith County ourselves. There's also one in the Austin Bottom area, Silver Point, and Temperance Hall. We could also possibly do that with the one in Liberty. That's something we're going to look at to see which is the most cost effective.Instead of bringing it (garbage) all the way back to Smithville to dump it at the transfer station, we could probably get to Smith County by that time, especially at Austin Bottom because we'll already be on the Interstate. We can just go on down to the Smith County exit," said County Mayor Stribling.