About 50 people spoke in front of a passionate crowd of 300 at a public hearing Wednesday night about expansion of the Central Kentucky Landfill. And their unified message was: Don’t do it.
An application, which has been submitted by Waste Services of the Bluegrass, asks the state Division of Waste Management for permission to increase the waste disposal area in the landfill from 46.8 acres to about 75.5 acres.
Waste Services of the Bluegrass also wants to increase the boundary surrounding the landfill from 102.8 acres to 602 acres.
Chief Operating Officer Greg Elkins said the waste disposal area will be a “horizontal expansion” and the landfill boundary will only be used for borrow and buffer area.
At the hearing, several Scott County residents said they did not want the expansion to occur, citing concerns about health, safety, proper zoning of the property and the possible effects on wildlife.
One of those safety concerns involves increased traffic along U.S. 25, the route the garbage trucks take to the dump, which lies on Double Culvert Road. Trucks driving down the two-lane road with narrow shoulders has been a concern for Scott County residents. Several residents spoke about being run off the road while in their vehicles or nearly hitting a garbage truck.
In September, a woman died in an accident involving two garbage trucks. One of the sons of the woman spoke at the meeting, his voice quavering during his testimony as he recalled when he found out his mother had died.
“I don’t care about anybody’s property,” James Smith said. “A tornado can come here tomorrow and take everything out. But if two people die in that tornado, it’s two people too many.”
Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather addressed that concern saying that later in January a new route will be implemented for Georgetown garbage trucks that will use Interstate-75 as a way to access the dump as opposed to using U.S. 25, hoping that the new route will “encourage or shame” others that use the landfill to follow Georgetown’s route.
Elkins said the members of Waste Services of the Bluegrass have thought about using Interstate-75 and are “researching options” on it.
The Scott County landfill does not contain only Scott County’s trash. In 2015, Fayette County contracted with Waste Services of the Bluegrass to send between 183 and 223 truckloads of trash each week to the Central Kentucky Landfill. Many residents said they were unhappy with Lexington dumping trash in Scott County.
Many residents at the hearing wore stickers that read “Don’t Dump on Us.”
Jeffrey Levitan, a Georgetown resident of two-and-a-half years, opposed the expansion of the landfill.
“I’m very disheartened to know that we’ve become the state of Kentucky’s dumping ground,” he said.
Jessica Power, another resident, expressed concern that Georgetown’s current waste management facilities can not handle Georgetown’s projected growth, let alone Lexington’s trash.
“We don’t have decent waste management facilities in Georgetown, Kentucky,” she said. “If you have been to our recycling facility, it is a podunk, rinky-dink, about-to-fall-in-on-itself, itty bitty, teeny tiny recycling facility.”
Prather said he’s concerned about landfill expansion, too.
Prather, who was one of the more calm speakers, said he doesn’t want the garbage mound becoming significantly taller, possibly reaching up to 200 feet tall.
“That would make the landfill structure the tallest structure in Scott County,” he said. “And I would prefer the tallest structure in our community not be a mountain of garbage.”
Residents have until Jan. 19 to submit written comments to the state about the landfill expansion. Afterward, the state government will decide to grant or deny the permit.
Where to send comments
Comments must be sent to:
Danny Anderson, P.E., Division of Waste Management, Solid Waste Branch, 300 Sower Blvd., Second Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601