Third landfill in county now stalled
Madison County supervisors voted in executive session Monday not to conduct a needs assessment that would be used to justify a third landfill in the county.
District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones, District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter and District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen each voted against a needs assessment, with District 4 Supervisor Karl Banks and District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin voting in favor of one.
Banks said on Wednesday the vote was not an up or down vote on the third landfill, but instead a needs assessment which he says is necessary for future planning in the county.
Banks said the current needs assessment was done in the 1990s and needs updating, and he wants that information to make decisions that will affect economic development for the county in the coming decades.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has tabled a decision to approve a petition for a new landfill by NCL Solid Waste LLC, pending an updated needs assessment. The decision Monday not to move forward with a needs assessment means the third landfill will remain in limbo until supervisors approve a new assessment.
Banks said Monday came down to timing. Ridgeland is currently trying to annex land that would include the site of the NCL landfill and the city of Canton is attempting to expand its landfill. Banks said once those actions play out the board may revisit the needs assessment request.
A group of concerned citizens calling themselves “No More Dumps” that includes people like Ridgeland Mayor Gene F. McGee asked supervisors earlier this summer not to move forward with a needs assessment after NCL attorneys requested one. NCL even offered to pay for the independent study to the tune of around $15,000.
In addition to politicians like McGee and Ridgeland Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith, nearby homeowners have also been vocal opponents of a third landfill.
“I smell gas fumes and it is awful,” Cynthia McGilberry, who represents Woodland Springs subdivision, told supervisors in June. “We are exposed to environmental hazards and great risks. I have grandchildren that I will not let play outside. We live within one mile of the proposed landfill and already live one mile from the current landfill, and we experience an awful stench.”
Also in June, Central Mississippi Realtors Association President Katie Warren said home values are and would be impacted more by a third landfill.
“We have already lost sales on properties from people talking about this landfill possibly happening,” she said at the time.
Madison is currently the only of Mississippi’s 82 counties with two existing solid waste landfills.