Members of the regional solid waste planning board met Wednesday to discuss options over potential problems with decreasing landfill space and yard waste burning in Cumberland County.

"There's a yard waste dilemma that we need to consider. They stopped accepting it at the county's recycling center. There's no problem from the county's perspective, but it could be a problem eventually from Fairfield Glade or Crossville if running programs there are stopped," board member Barry Field said.

According to Wayne Blaylock, Cumberland County solid waste director, the reason the county stopped accepting the brush and leaves was the expense and the amount of yard waste that was being brought in, nearly blocking the street off on Saturdays.

"The county budget committee decided they would no longer fund it because it was costing around $50,000 per year," Blaylock said.

In order for the county to continue offering a service, Blaylock said it would cost the county a minimum of $200,000 to purchase a tub grinder plus the cost of the property and other equipment to run a facility.

Everett Bolin, board member, said, "The state requires that we have a plan in place, but it does not require that we offer the service."

"If we were to offer a service for the public, we would have to come up with some subsidizing by the taxpayers to cover the cost," said city of Crossville manager and board member Jack Miller. "Maybe some sort of an assessment fee attatched to the electric bill?"

County Mayor Brock Hill said the complaints have been minimal at this point.

"Most of the people in the county take care of their brush through burning it. Fairfield has their own plan, Pleasant Hill has a plan ... " Hill said.

After a brief discussion, board members determined that at this point there's no need to address the issue, but at a later date it will need to be addressed if brush services become no longer available in Fairfield Glade or Pleasant Hill.

"We're doing fine now with our service out there, but I don't know how long it will be able to last," said board member Jean Cheney of Plasant Hill.

The board decided unanimously to address the issue at a later date.

"I feel like we made a good decision on this. As a county we are a lot closer to a full recycling point in the county. Many others are looking to our county as an example," Field said.

According to Field 40,000 of waste tons are recycled in the county and not going to the landfill.

Mayor Hill told the board that the landfill is estimated to run out of space by August 2009.

Based on preliminary information, Hill said that it appears it will cost the county less to send the trash out of the county through a waste transfer station once the landfill is full.

Hill said it's something that is being looked at by the county commission's environmental committee.

Members of the regional solid waste planning board are Barry Field, Jack Miller, Everett Bolin, Beth Sherrill, Jean Cheney and Les Cavell.

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