By Stan Welch
District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson must have felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction Tuesday night, as her persistent efforts on behalf of the residents of the Cheddar community bore fruit.
Wilson has been a critic of the impact that the Anderson Regional Landfill, as well as the tank farm, has had on the community, especially in terms of truck traffic. After years of community meetings and negotiations with the landfill’s corporate owners, Wilson looked on Tuesday night as the County Council unanimously voted on four different occasions to prohibit truck traffic on the roads that have suffered the most.
Camelot Forest, Murphy Road, Ballard Road and Stoneybrook Road all received protection from the heavy trucks that have damaged those roads, as well as created significant hazards to civilian traffic. The changes will result in a rerouting of that traffic.
In a quid pro quo of sorts, Wilson joined the rest of the council in voting to approve an increase in the permitted capacity of the landfill from the current 438,000 tons to 488,000 tons. The operating company, Waste Connections of the Carolinas, had requested the increase after having to divert some material to other sites to avoid exceeding the permitted capacity. According to district manager Tim Fadul, the daily tonnage received has almost tripled since the company acquired the landfill in 2009.
He also pointed out that the diversion of materials also impacted the host fees received by the county by almost eighty thousand dollars in the first two quarters of this year. Even with the diversion, the landfill will be within six days of the permitted tonnage by the end of the reporting period. The company cannot unilaterally exceed the tonnage, but must have written approval from the county. Tuesday night, the county, with Wilson’s cooperation, received that approval.
Greg Wilson, the county’s solid waste director, explained that the increase is not a formal expansion of the landfill, but is a test program of sorts. “We have agreed to this increase for two years to see if that is sufficient to manage the growth that this area is experiencing. “
At a meeting of the planning and public works committee Monday, a committee Wilson chairs, councilman and committee member Craig Wooten credited Ms. Wilson and her long lived efforts for creating and encouraging a more cooperative atmosphere from the company. (See related story elsewhere in this issue.)
In other business, the Council approved seeking a loan from the Brownsfield Revolving Loan Fund for additional environmental clean-up at the Toxaway and Pelzer mill sites.
By Stan Welch