published Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Less waste going to Bradley landfill


This table shows monthly waste tonnage accepted at the Bradley County Landfill in 2009 and 2010.

Month 2009 2010 Year-to-year change

January 15,244.40 9,775.43 -5,468.97

February 14,553.41 10,298.08 -4,255.33

March 13,077.87 10,901.75 -2,176.12

April 12,731.18 15,954.39 3,223.21

May 11,912.72 14,199.29 2,286.57

June 12,516.79 14,338.74 1,821.95

July 15,722.48 13,056.23 -2,666.25

August 13,064.41 13,964.61 900.20

September 13,409.22 11,022.99 -2,386.23

October 13,230.74 10,890.36 -2,340.38

November 12,644.74 12,898.92 254.18

December 12,762.51 15,601.42 2,838.91

Total 160,870.47 152,902.21 -7,968.26

Source: Santek Environmental

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The staggering economy delivered a hit to the amount of garbage the Bradley County Landfill took in last year.

“For the year 2010, we were right at 153,000 tons, which was almost 8,000 tons less than we were [in 2009],” Santek Environmental’s Cheryl Dunson told the Bradley County Commission this week.

Santek operates the Bradley landfill and has a contract that caps tonnage at 200,000 a year.

Commissioner J. Adam Lowe asked if residents’ conservation played a role in the drop, but Dunson said that was unlikely.

“Construction and demolition debris was off due to the economy,” Dunson said. “Waste streams are going to mirror how well your economy is doing. That’s pretty much why our volumes are down.”

That drop is reflected in host fees, the portion of gross fee collections that go to the county. The fee is 6 percent of gross revenue for the first 100,000 tons and 7 percent of the next 100,000 tons.

Fee revenue fell from $240,393 in 2009 to $225,543 in 2010, records show.

Dunson said the dip in host fees would have no significant impact on the bottom line or operations.

“But it was because of these funds that we were able to host a household hazardous waste collection day this year that the state did not fund,” she said. Those events usually cost $30,000 to $50,000, she said.

On the bright side, records show collections of $64,842 for the first quarter of 2011, well above the $46,464 collected in the same period last year, she said.

“Typically the first quarter is usually down,” Dunson said. “We’ve had a good first quarter, and we’re very encouraged about that.”

Santek’s annual report also estimated the landfill’s expected life at 60 years.

Commission Chairman Louie Alford praised Santek’s efforts and County Mayor D. Gary Davis said the county landfill has improved dramatically over the years.

“In 1998, the life of the landfill was four years, and now it’s 60 years,” Davis said. “It’s amazing.”

Dunson also said she would study ways to boost publicity for the county’s recycling centers.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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