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Environmental Committee Meeting Minutes – February 9, 2023 (Approved)

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The Chair Commissioner Tracy Wilburn opened the meeting asking Commissioner Matt Rubelsky to offer a prayer and lead the pledge.  The Minutes of 6 April 2022 was moved for approval by Commissioner David Adams, seconded by Commissioner Roger Reedy, and were approved unanimously.


First Agenda Item – Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Annual Progress Report (APR) 2022 – TDEC, per Julie Phillips, Giles County’s Solid Waste Coordinator,  requires an APR by 31 March and requires evidence of a 25% waste reduction and diversion for the County’s waste.  She provided a handout which now includes America’s Thrift Diversion (clothing), as well as other tonnage such as single stream, scrap metal, used oil, antifreeze, and miscellaneous (batteries, e.g.).  She invited all to come by and see the activity.  Commissioner Matt Rubelsky asked where the waste is hauled, noting some nearby landfills are almost completely filled.  Ms. Phillips said her two trucks haul all trash/waste here locally to Bass Waste Transfer Station.  They in turn haul the that waste to Walnut, MS which currently has an additional 30-year life.  Another question was asked on the tire freight cost going from $429 to $530, but Ms. Phillips noted, based on the fee schedule passed in 2015, the county is not losing money on the disposal of tires.

2nd Agenda Item – Minor Hill Center Backhoe.  The backhoe is used to help pack the boxes which in turn reduces the number of trips and cost of additional trips for hauling. The last one bought was used and was for about $9K. Now the transmission is out and the estimate is $10K to repair.  Ms. Phillips stated she had discussed this with Barry Hyatt, Road Superintendent, to get his recommendation, and she now wanted permission to place this non-usable backhoe on the sale list.  She is not asking for a backup at this time but eventually she will need another one.  Currently the longest haul is to Minor Hill and they are also one of the smaller tonnage users, although it is the newest and is growing.  She is seeing a lot of commercial debris whereas the centers are for residential and they are keeping a watch on that type usage.  A motion by Commissioner Matt Rubelsky to sell the backhoe on government deals and send on to the full commission was made, seconded by Commissioner David Adams, and was approved unanimously.


3rd Agenda Item Great American Cleanup (GAC) April 2023.  The waste centers receive two grants a year for litter cleanup and she will do in concert with the GAC and the Tennessee one, a local event at the Ag Center.  She is requesting a no fee TV waste diversion at that event to encourage more litter cleanup.  Currently the centers can do hazard year round with the state doing a “milk” run to pick that material up.  So rather than charging as she does for tires and TVs, for that one day for those wanting to dispose of TVs there would be no fee.  A motion by Commissioner Matt Rubelsky and seconded by David Adams was made for the no fee TV disposal.  Commissioner Joyce Morgan amended by adding computer monitors,  and with Commissioner Rubelsky seconding, that motion of disposal of TVs and computer monitors be free was approved.


Old Business – None.  New Business.  A question by Commissioner Evan Baddour on waste center availability within Pulaski was raised.  Ms. Phillips said the Centers serve all of the county, including the city/towns.  She has plans to meet with the new Pulaski Mayor J.J. Brindley.  Commissioner Baddour mentioned that some businesses were agreeable to having a “box” located at their site, and Ms. Phillips stated that without oversight the actually waste might not be acceptable.  That occurs when waste is various combined components resulting in contaminated material and unacceptable for disposable.  Commissioner Matt Rubelsky asked about any consideration for future growth, and Ms. Phillips said she could see the state enforcing more than a 25% reduction/diversion which is already difficult for some counties; the only thing bringing in funding currently is cardboard.  She mentioned a survey mailed to industries, twelve in total, and she has received only 1 back.  Their proper use and documentation of waste disposal gives Giles County credit.  The term credit was asked for further clarification and Ms. Phillips said it impacts the approval of grants.


A motion by Commissioner Matt Rubelsky, seconded by Commissioner Joseph Sutton, was made and approved unanimously.


ATTENDEES:  Members of the Committee, Chair Commissioner Tracy Wilburn, Commissioners Matt Rubelsky, Joseph Sutton, David Adams, Roger Reedy, Joyce Morgan, and Maurice Woodard


Other Commissioners in attendance:  Shelby Goolsby, Caleb Savage, Terry Jones, Mathew Hopkins, Erin Curry, James Lathrop, David Wamble, Annelle Guthrie, Brad Butler, Gayle Jones, Evan Baddour, Judy Pruett


Others County Executive Graham Stowe, Julie Phillips, Barry Hyatt, Steve Kelly, Dr. Vickie Beard, Morgan Sutton, and several members of the public