47 4 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Macon-Bibb's landfill passed its latest state inspection after a history of failing scores.

The last time the county passed was in November 2012.

A failing score in January that cost the county a $50,000 fine to the Department of Natural Resources.

"Every time you go shopping or out to dinner or even your residential garbage you throw out would end up here at this landfill," Barkley said.

After decades of piling Macon-Bibb's garbage onto this massive mound, Mayor Robert Reichert says it's time to start shutting it down.

"It's 122 acres and of enormous height, about 60 to 80 feet tall," Reichert said. "The landfill that we currently have is probably one of the most inefficient landfills you can find anywhere. We are literally hauling our garbage up to the top of a hill and dumping it on the ground and then finding dirt, hauling it back up to the hill and covering the garbage."

Reichert and other county officials praised employees for coming together to get the landfill back in compliance.

"The city and the county needs to know that we're doing everything possible to make it safe for them and ensure that we don't lose any taxpayer money by getting more fines and that we are in compliance," Commissioner Al Tillman said.

But maintaining it has been costly.

"We spent about $40,000 in materials just to get it going and then about $10,000 in overtime hours to get the site back in compliance," Barkley said.

He says they fixed problems found in the previous inspection, such as properly covering trash, picking up litter, and draining standing water.

"The problems we were having was it was washing off faster than the grass could grow. We came in here and controlled the water that was washing away the soil and exposing the garbage," Barkley said.

County officials say they'll start drawing up a closure plan.

That could include building a plant to separate trash from recyclables.

"A very sophisticated process that would allow some stuff to fall out of the bottom, allows other stuff to be collected with a magnet at the top and other lighter things blown with a wind current," Reichert said.

Then whatever trash is left would head out of Macon-Bibb to a modern landfill elsewhere.

Reichert says he hopes the county can start closing our landfill in a few years.

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh.

47 4 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.13wmaz.com/story/news/local/2014/07/18/bibb-landfill-passes-inspection/12853021/