Have you ever noticed that just about every neighborhood has a “trash dog”?
You know, the dog that wanders through every few days and picks out one house to hit, knocking over a trash can and dragging away all the good stuff it can and leaving a giant mess in its wake.
Or maybe it’s just the neighborhoods I have happened to live in. Who knows?
Regardless, unless you neighborhood has the best trash dog on the planet — one that is able to drag away every last sliver or scrap of paper or broken toy or whatever — do you ever wonder where your trash goes once you put it on the street?
The short answer is a landfill.
I never really thought I would be interested in trash, but in the last few weeks — amazingly enough — I have.
I had been invited to tour the Golden Triangle Regional Solid Waste Management Authority landfill in Northeast Mississippi a few times, but I had never made time to view the facility until a couple of weeks ago. After a trip up to speak to the West Point Rotary Club, I made the 10-minute drive to the landfill with few expectations other than I might ruin a good pair of pants.
However, it was fascinating, and I left with my pants clean, other than the chicken I spilled on them from the Rotary meeting.
The science and high-tech brainpower that goes into building, implementation and maintenance of these facilities is amazing.
I am working on a story to publish in the next couple of weeks on the landfill. Having said that, there has been landfill controversy in the news the last several weeks.
Some Madison residents have been up in arms about a proposed landfill in Madison County that a woman at a recent public forum was quoted as calling it an “environmental injustice.”
The anti-landfill folks were reported to say their environmental and health concerns include:
>> Infrastructure problems;
>> Complications from stench …
>> Rodents and …
While I don’t have all of the information at hand about this particular landfill, I am certain concerns these residents have levied aren’t as big a deal as you might think.
First, stench was high on my list of concerns when I went to the Golden Triangle facility. Amazingly, after touring nearly every inch of the place, that was not an issue.
Rodents? Probably, but I have since asked two homeowners about that issue to which they said there was none.
Buzzards? I saw a bunch there, but I literally see as many or more buzzards picking at road kill on St. Augustine Road near Strawberry Park in Madison every week. Those are buzzards I have to deal with every day. Buzzards at the landfill are at the landfill, not the local park where my children play.
I’m not saying the proposed landfill is perfect in every way, and I am not saying Madison County doesn’t need to answer the public’s questions. What I am saying is landfills of today aren’t your grandfather’s local dump, where people would drive to unload an ugly 20-year old couch.
Landfills are a necessity, and there is significant regulation to ensure the safety of the community.
Landfills are also a necessity for economic growth. For a county like Madison where business and residential growth is dizzying, the trash must go somewhere.
And, as far as I can tell, there aren’t enough trash dogs to go around.