By Stan Welch
Twenty years ago, the Big Creek Landfill was sold to the NationsWaste corporation, in a controversial transaction. Over the ensuing years, the landfill has become the Anderson Regional Landfill (ARL). It has also changed corporate hands, and is currently owned and operated by Waste Connections of the Carolinas.
One of the first results of the original transaction was the increase of the permitted annual capacity by approximately four hundred per cent, from 85,500 tons to 438,000 tons. That modification effectively changed the facility from a small county dump to a corporate facility which receives waste from a growing number of outside sources. Even as Anderson county continued to grow, and produce more and more solid waste, that capacity remained adequate – until now.
In a letter authored last November, Tim Fadul, district manager for Waste Connections, requested that discussions begin between the company and the county concerning a lateral expansion of the landfill, with an attendant increase in the tonnage cap. Fadul supports his request by citing an increase in the amount of solid waste received at ARL from 236,757 tons when Waste Connections assumed operations to 426,630 tons last year. The latest amount is essentially the permitted capacity for all practical purposes.
Waste Connections is ultimately seeking an increase in its permitted tonnage of 150,000 tons each year.
According to the letter. The original footprint permitted is 113 acres, which Fadul claims limits the remaining life of the facility
Following an online meeting at the end of June, DHEC has agreed to a temporary increase of fifty thousand tons, with any further increases to be negotiated with the county. District Seven Councilwoman, a long time critic and opponent of the landfill, has been impressed by the new owners/operators of the facility. Wilson, speaking to the Journal in a recent interview, lauded the changes in management at Waste Connections, saying that the professionalism and spirit of cooperation is a welcome change.
By Stan Welch