Portland Mayor Mike Callis recently spoke to the Portland City Council on growing costs in hauling the city’s trash and possible future options.

“We had a meeting with the mayors in Sumner County and the Resource Authority,” Callis told the group. “They’re looking for a large increase and are talking about an $18-million expansion of the Resource Authority.”

The Resource Authority has purchased more land at its Gallatin site and also has secured a 15-year agreement with Smith County to take trash.

“They’re asking us how, as a county, we can commit to continue to taking our trash there,” Callis said. “They’re basically a transfer station. Everybody brings their trash and dumps it. They put it on trucks and it’s sent to other landfills.”

Callis called trash an ongoing challenge, as some landfills are closing and new ones are not being developed as quickly. Recycling is also a challenge currently as demand has dropped.

“One of the questions we asked is ...are there opportunities to recycle to reduce the amount going to the landfill,” Callis said.

In March, Callis noted that tipping fees at the Resource Authority were expected to increase in the future and said that Portland needed to be prepared.

Portland’s 2020-21 budget contained $390,632 in anticipated expenses for landfill service, and if tipping fees do rise, that cost would likely be passed on to the public.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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