Davidson County’s Solid Waste Board won’t let a construction and demolition landfill expand in Bordeaux.
The board voted last night to deny the private company that operates the landfill, Waste Management, because it currently doesn’t have a plan to handle solid waste that doesn’t dissolve.
The board points to the county’s long-term zero waste master plan and its 20-year goals, which members say likely wouldn’t happen if the landfill expands. Residents of the historically Black Bordeaux area also raised concerns about their health, home resale value and quality of life.
Board Chair John Sherman said the board needed to “draw the line.”
“And say, ‘City, you have to step up,’ ” he said. “We can say it for the community. It’s going to spur Waste Management to think differently about what they’re doing perhaps.”
The company says over the next two years the landfill will hit its capacity — especially after 2020’s March tornadoes and Christmas bombing, plus the city’s growth.
“Without approval for expansion, Waste Management will need to take action to extend the life of the currently permitted landfill space, which could include increasing disposal rates and limiting the type or volume of material Waste Management would accept,” Waste Management’s district manager, Don Gentilcore, told the board.
The current site is 183 acres and is the only one like it within the county. Gentilcore says without the expansion people will have to travel 40 miles outside of the county, which he argues would have its own environmental consequences.
If the company still wants to expand after the rejection, they’ll need to take the city to court.
Nashville state Sen. Brenda Gilmore says residents have been urging elected officials to stop unwanted expansions for 20 years. According to NewsChannel 5, Gilmore presented a bill in the state Senate to regulate a gas that is believed to emitted by the landfill.
“There’s a clear pattern of racial and socioeconomic disparities in the distribution of landfills,” she says. “Minorities and low income communities are seen as the path of least resistance.”