Columbia County officials are considering establishing a county-run inert landfill for lawn debris.
"I'm getting a lot of phone calls about people having no place to dump their (yard waste) ... ," Commissioner Tommy Mercer said Monday during a Planning and Engineering Services Committee meeting.
The county's only inert landfill, Sample and Son Inc., primarily focuses on construction and demolition debris but accepted inert yard waste until about a month ago, said Jim Leiper, Columbia County's Engineering and Environmental Services Division director.
Mr. Leiper said he asked Don Bartles, the Baker Place Road Landfill's manager, and Kevin Lear, the county's Construction and Maintenance Division director, for suggestions of locations).
"And they came up with some pretty good ones," he said.
Leiper said the idea will be pursued further after it is confirmed that no private business will be developing to offer the same services.
Columbia County Commissioner Steve Brown said he'd like to see an operation that doesn't take years to break down inert material, such as burning, but Leiper said burning is prohibitively expensive and would probably not be allowed by the state Environmental Protection Division because burning pollutes the air.
"We evaluated composting," Leiper said. "That's something we may want to look at."
County officials previously looked at composting as an option to dispose of inert yard debris but rejected it because Sample and Son accepted that same type of material.
Composting might be viable option now, officials say.
"That could come back on the table if there isn't any private activity in that sector," Leiper said. "We don't want to compete with private industry."
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