Scott County

Landfill at odds with residents over safety, applies to renew operations

A truck drives south from the Central Kentucky Landfill in late 2016. The Central Kentucky Landfill has been the center of an ongoing controversy.
A truck drives south from the Central Kentucky Landfill in late 2016. The Central Kentucky Landfill has been the center of an ongoing controversy. palcala@herald-leader.com

Waste Services of the Bluegrass, owner of the Central Kentucky Landfill, has applied for a permit seeking to renew its current landfill operations until June 30, 2022.

A public hearing for the permit will be 6 p.m. Friday at Scott County High School at 1080 Cardinal Drive in Georgetown.

The landfill has been the center of an ongoing controversy in Scott County since it applied to increase the land it uses in late 2016. .

Waste Services of the Bluegrass is asking the division of Waste Management to increase its waste disposal area and increase the boundary surrounding the landfill to be used as borrow and buffer area.

While some area residents have expressed concern about the change in the size of the landfill, a larger problem is also troubling them.

In September, Kim Smith was killed on U.S. 25, a route frequently used by garbage trucks to the landfill at the time, in a wreck involving two garbage trucks and a car. Then, on the same road in mid-March, a garbage truck sideswiped a Scott County school bus with students aboard, fueling more concern about the landfill.

A public hearing on Jan. 11 about the landfill expansion was attended by hundreds of Scott County residents, many of whom opposed the landfill. Residents cited safety, decreased property values and the possible odor as just a few concerns. Smith’s son was a speaker.

A week later, Joe Kane, executive director of the Georgetown/Scott County Planning Commission, sent a letter to Todd Skaggs, president of Waste Services of the Bluegrass, saying that the land around the landfill will need to be rezoned before it could expand. Waste Services of the Bluegrass appealed the letter to the Scott County Board of Adjustment, questioning if Kane had proper authority to issue the letter.

Soon after, Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather instructed Georgetown garbage trucks to use Interstate-75 as the primary route to the landfill, in hopes of persuading Waste Services of the Bluegrass to do the same. Waste Services told its garbage trucks to do the same earlier in that week, according to the company’s website.

On March 14, the Scott County Board of Adjustment denied Waste Services of the Bluegrass’ appeal, stating that the land for the expansion needs to be rezoned. Waste Services of the Bluegrass can apply for rezoning or appeal the Board of Adjustment’s decision through Scott County Circuit Court.

If the Central Kentucky Landfill does not get its permit renewed by its expiration date, June 30, that does not mean it will automatically be shut down, according to state law. The landfill can continue its operations until the division of Waste Management decides to terminate its permit or issue it a new one, said Lanny Brannock, a spokesman for the Energy and Environment Cabinet. If the permit is terminated, then the landfill must stop operations.

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