Protestors opposing a proposed third landfill in Madison County rallied outside a MDEQ permit board meeting in December.
Protestors opposing a proposed third landfill in Madison County rallied outside a MDEQ permit board meeting in December.
My wife and I have been residents of Madison County since 1979 and have watched Madison County grow into one of the most desirable places to live in Mississippi. Long before Madison County began its exponential growth, I knew that we had found a special place to live and raise our family. As far back as 1979, several of our highly traveled roads today were just dirt roads then.

Recently, I became aware that there was another landfill being proposed for our county alongside the existing Dixie Landfill. This proposed landfill will give our county a total of THREE (3) landfills. This particular landfill will encompass 89 acres with a surrounding area of 166 acres. I am well aware of what a large tract of 89 acres looks like because I lived on 80 acres.

Furthermore, there is no other county in the state that has three landfills. NONE! It would be unfair to ask Madison County to add an additional landfill and shoulder this monstrosity, in addition to the burden of large garbage trucks driving to and from the facility. The residents in the area would be inundated with constant truck traffic. The roads in the area have been demolished by these massive trucks for years. I regularly drive through the area and know this to be a fact.

To make matters more puzzling, our two current landfills have pending applications with MDEQ for expansion plans. Wouldn’t it be prudent to wait for the outcome of these needs assessment studies stating the long-term capacity of these existing facilities before we authorize another landfill?

In a letter to Madison County on June 9, the applicant, NCL Waste, LLC, requested that Madison County direct its contractor to prepare an updated needs assessment including a determination of need for the third proposed landfill. According to this letter, “NCL Waste will reimburse Madison County for any costs it incurs as a

result of the preparation and submittal of this report.” This offer is of great concern to me and needs to be explained.

Additionally, Ridgeland has an annexation case pending for this area, their only avenue for expansion. Our county needs economic development more than additional landfills.

On Monday, July 20, a surprise motion came before a closed-door session of the Madison County Board of Supervisors to move forward with a landfill needs assessment. Thankfully, Supervisors Gerald Steen, Sheila Jones, and Trey Baxter stood up for people of Madison County and voted against the motion to move forward with a needs assessment, and the measure failed 3-2. This is not the end of the story, but it is encouraging.

 As your former sheriff, a part of my job was to attend all Board of Supervisors’ meetings. On numerous occasions, whenever a crucial decision was required, I heard the expression from some of the supervisors, “Let’s do it for the children.” With this in mind, let’s do it for the children and say no to this new proposed landfill. I would ask the citizens of Madison County to voice their opposition to this landfill to their supervisors.

We can discuss all the environmental concerns, the diminishing property values, the water run off detrimental to our well-being and health, but fair is fair, NO MATTER THE POLITICS!

Toby Trowbridge, Jr. is the former sheriff of Madison County and a resident.