- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
BFI may be motivated to buy Wilson landfill
Jul 16, 2004 12:00 am
Waste industry giant BFI may be on the clock and under the gun to cut a deal to buy the Wilson County government owned landfill.
State officials told The Lebanon Democrat Tuesday a survey of the company's lone landfill in Middle Tennessee showed only about two more years left that the company could dump there before it would no longer be usable.
The Rutherford County BFI landfill - known as the Middle Point Sanitary Landfill - would have to go through what state officials described as a lengthy process to re-permit or reclassify their facility.
The landfill receives household waste through contracts with area governments, including Metropolitan Nashville. It also takes waste from the City of Lebanon.
"We have some different ideas about how much time they have left," Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Solid Waste Director Mike Apple said Tuesday. "We say it is two years and they figure it is four years at Middle Point."
BFI's interest in the county landfill surfaced last week after a meeting of the Urban Type Facilities Board that oversees the facility.
Sources in county government identified the proposed purchase price at around $125 million. BFI presently is the target of a lawsuit by county government for a $1.2 million debt owed by a former landfill user BFI bought out.
Wilson County Mayor Bob Dedman on Tuesday confirmed BFI was the party interested in buying the landfill.
Dedman said he was not aware the company may have a limited life span on their nearest facility.
"I didn't know they were under the gun," Dedman said. "...It tells me they are in a bind to get something going. I think we must have a pretty hot piece of property. It may be worth a lot more than that ($125 million.)"
Reactions have been mixed among Wilson County Commissioners to the possibility of selling the landfill. Some have said they are concerned about other counties' garbage being trucked through Lebanon.
Behind the scenes, Commissioners are talking privately about what an infusion of cash could do for county government, including the need to build schools.
Dedman noted he was not "for or against" selling the facility, but did talk openly about the possibilities.
"The way we are going, we are going to need to build more schools soon," Dedman said.
BFI officials broke their silence about the company's offer Tuesday.
Spokesperson Trey Bland of BFI's Nashville office confirmed the company was "interested" but did not talk about figures.
Staff at the BFI Middle Point facility said the company did accept waste from Nashville and other area governments but would not speak to the interest in Wilson County's landfill.
Staff with BFI's regional office in South Carolina did not return telephone calls for this story Tuesday.
Apple said the company would be on a short time line to expand operations at the Rutherford County facility.
"Permitting of a Class I facility or expanding the permit of a Class I facility can take anywhere from a year to a year and a half," Apple added. "They (BFI) have a long way to go. They have some engineering work to do, hydrogeologic work and public hearings. There have also been a lot of subdivisions built in that area since Middle Point opened up. I'm sure there will be some interest in any expansion."
Managing Editor Clint Brewer can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 13 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.