NAS Meridian opposing proposed location of new garbage transfer station

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 5:50 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A waste management company wants to build a new garbage transfer station at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Industrial Park.

At first glance, the proposed location seems reasonable, but the waste transfer station would be located less than two miles from Naval Air Station Meridian’s flight path.

NAS Meridian opposes the transfer station. Top military officials there believe the waste at the new transfer station would attract vultures and other scavenging birds to the landfill.

NAS Meridian officials said the birds would be a significant hazard for their pilots and the T-45 C jets who use the flight path for training exercises.

The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors approved the writing of an amendment from JWC Environmental, LLC.

The board will vote soon whether to approve the proposal.

“I’m waiting to hear the facts from the commander at the base. I know that I received a letter, and the trash people, JWC, have presented a location. I’m just waiting to gather facts,” said District 2 Supervisor Wayman Newell.

Commanding Officer, Captain Brent Moore, and Commodore of Training Air Wing One, Captain Tracey Gendreau, said in a letter to the board, “TW-1 and NAS Meridian requests your thoughtful deliberation in this matter to minimize the risk of vulture strikes to aircraft in the airspace above Lauderdale county. We are standing by to help and support the best choices to attract industry without unnecessary risk to the safety of our community.”

District 1 Supervisor Jonathan Wells said he will wait to form an opinion until he has all the facts and hears from the public at the meeting.

Wells said he understands NAS Meridian’s concerns and that he is taking that into consideration.

However, he also said not having a site like this could hurt Lauderdale county. “We’re going green in the future, and if you don’t have place like this, it may hurt us economically to not have a station like they’re talking about,” said Wells.

Board President Kyle Rutledge said he will also be waiting to hear all the input at next Tuesday’s hearing.

He said he plans to base his decision around what benefits the taxpayers of Lauderdale county best.

Rutledge said if passed, this transfer station would allow recycling to become far more available in Lauderdale county.

“Once a month we have a recycling program at the AG center, but it’s getting harder and harder to find places that will take it. They are more set up to take the recycling, so, instead of once-a-month, people can drop it off every day. We have problems with tires and those things. Also, different businesses can take their carboard waste there. They would buy it from them is what I understand.”

The public hearing will be held Tuesday, February 16, at the Annex building in downtown Meridian at 9:15 a.m. Comments mailed or delivered to the 11th floor of the Annex building will be accepted until February 26.

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