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Sowaco Landfill seeks permission to expand

By Staff
LANDFILL EXPANSION – The Sowaco Landfill on 31st Avenue in south Lauderdale County accepts trash from a 50-mile radius of Meridian. Owner Jim Brumfield wants to expand the site; the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors will have a public hearing on the request at 6 p.m. Dec. 16. PHOTO BY CARISA MCCAIN / The Meridian Star
By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Friday, Nov. 1, 2002
One of the highest points in Lauderdale County overlooks Meridian, offers a 30-mile panoramic view of nearby areas and sits smack in the middle of a solid waste landfill.
The Sowaco Landfill has operated at the picturesque site on 31st Avenue since 1986. And Jim Brumfield, the landfill's owner, wants to expand the site.
Lauderdale County supervisors voted last month to amend the county's solid waste plan so Sowaco can expand. But before supervisors endorse Sowaco's plans, they will have a public hearing at 6 p.m. Dec. 16.
The landfill sits in relative seclusion, away from residential developments. Its closest residential neighbor lives a half-mile away.
County landfills
Sowaco is in south Lauderdale County and part of Southern Waste Co., which Brumfield owns. Southern Waste also owns Bozeman Hill Landfill on Barnhill Road in northwest Lauderdale County.
Both are Class 1 solid waste landfills licensed to accept construction debris, paper, plastic, wood and other inert materials.
Neal Carson, Lauderdale County's engineer, said the county's Solid Waste Master Plan regulates the storage of solid waste.
If supervisors give approval, Brumfield's proposal then would go to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality the state agency that regulates all landfills for final say.
Space needed
Carson said Lauderdale county could use three landfills. He said that would make debris and limb disposal more convenient.
Sowaco now uses 35 acres for landfill storage and accepts 40 to 60 truck loads a day. Brumfield said dumping rates are charged by the load, adding that "our trucks cover a 50-mile radius."
Brumfield said the cost to dump a pickup load is $11, and a single-axle trailer load is $22.
Workers cover the landfill with topsoil and smooth the surface with a 70,000 pound compactor every day. If dumping rates don't change and expansion takes place, Brumfield said Sowaco will reach capacity in about 22 years.
Carson said a golf course is a possible future option for the site.