Lauderdale County residents who wish to dispose of hazardous waste like freezers, chemicals, or paint, cannot do so at Pine Ridge Landfill, according to Bill Moffet, the landfill's operations manager.

County Engineer Neal Carson's statement that residents could do so, made to The Star on Friday, Jan. 18, and published Sunday was incorrect, Moffett said.

Carson said Monday that he had mistakenly made the assumption that the City of Meridian's Public Works Department, which has two hazardous waste collection days each year, disposed of it's hazardous waste at the landfill. Moffett said the landfill does not accept any hazardous waste, from the city or otherwise.

As to where county residents can take their hazardous waste, Carson said, "There's no place, unless they're going to take it over to Emelle, Ala."

Emelle is the site of Chemical Waste Management, Inc., which is where the city actually sends the waste collected on its hazardous waste days, according to its public works department. Virgilene Campbell, a technical service representative for Waste Management, told The Star that county residents could indeed dispose of their hazardous waste at the Emelle site, and that fees would vary according to type of material. County residents wishing to dispose of hazardous waste at the Emelle site should contact Waste Management Sales Representative Michael Eidt.

Although there is a chemical waste site available to county residents, with many unable or unwilling to take their waste all the way to Emelle, which is about 17 miles north of York in Sumter County (more than 40 miles from downtown Meridian), and with even more unaware of the Emelle site, the question becomes: What is being done with all the hazardous waste in the county?

County Supervisor Craig Hitt, District 3, said that hazardous waste left at the county's brown-box sites is disposed of properly by the county, but that the sites are intended for household garbage only. But, he said, there is one day a year in which Waste Management and Southern Waste set up hazardous waste collection sites across the county, which are open to all county residents.

Hitt is expected to propose a study by Waste Management at tonight's Board of Supervisors meeting, which will determine the costs of the county's current waste disposal system as well as two others — regional, manned dump sites and roadside pick-up. The motion to go forward with the study is expected to pass. If the county decides to continue using the current system, Hitt hopes that the $5 a month sanitation fee will be raised to meet the actual cost of waste disposal.

Board of Supervisors - What to Expect

Here is what is expected to happen at tonight's Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors meeting, based on the events of Friday's work session. The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. at the Raymond P. Davis Courthouse Annex:

• The board is expected to pass a motion for a study estimating the cost of three different types of waste disposal in the county.

• The board is expected to approve the use of a $10,000 advertising grant for the promotion of "Wings over Meridian," in which the Blue Angels will visit the Naval Air Station Meridian on March 29 and 30. The tourism board believes that the advertising grant will help draw out-of-town visitors, who may stay in Meridian overnight.

• The board will hear a request to purchase computers and equipment for numerous county departments. The request will include mapping and address software for the E-911 department, which would allow emergency personnel to pinpoint the location of cell phone callers. If approved, the purchase will cost the county $50,000 a year for five years.

• The board may make some sort of decision on what to do with a $56,000 digitally programmable LCD marquis sign for the Lauderdale County Agri-Center. The sign, which has been in $400-a-month storage for several years, has yet to be erected because of government red tape. The sign was originally planned to be placed on state right-of-way, just off Hwy. 19, but the required state approval for the use of this location has not been received. Representatives of the agri-center have found a place for the sign that is not on state right-of-way, but that may be too out-of-the-way to achieve the desired effect. It was suggested at the work session that the sign should be erected in the newly proposed location only if state approval to place it on the right-of-way or another more adequate location is not found by Feb. 14.

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