Landfill owner discusses ongoing odor concerns at open house

Operators of Middle Point Landfill said they have spent over $15 million to help control odors at the Walter Hill facility.
The operators of Middle Point Landfill located in Walter Hill held another open house on Wednesday at MTSU.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 11:35 PM CDT
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WSMV) - The operators of Middle Point Landfill held another open house to answer citizens’ questions as they continue to push to expand the Walter Hill landfill.

The landfill operators showcased how the operation works and address questions and concerns from nearby residents during Wednesday’s open house held on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.

Many of the complaints about the landfill have been about the odors associated with it.

“It just keeps getting worse,” said Murfreesboro resident Luke Nemeth.

Nemeth comes to the Siegel Soccer Complex for his kids to practice at least three to four times a week. The soccer complex is in the shadows of the landfill.

“I just think the smell of the landfill lowers the quality of life,” said Nemeth. “I smell it further and further away from the landfill as time goes by.”

Mike Classen, the general manager of Middle Point Landfill, said they have invested millions of dollars to get rid of issues like foul odors.

“That’s something over the last two years that we have invested over $15 million in infrastructure to help control those odors on site,” said Classen.

The landfill has about 5-1/2 years of remaining disposable capacity if there is no expansion.

As for the future of the landfill, there’s a few options.

“We can build a transfer station and send all of the trash to some other community who hopefully takes it for an absorbing higher amount of money,” said Classen.

Classen said the other way presents an opportunity to work with leaders in Rutherford County.

“To actually create more of a sustainability campus to bring recycling, to bring composting, start managing household hazardous waste to really transform the way we understand and are educated about the waste that our community generates,” said Classen.

So far, the company’s claims there’s been a 98% reduction in odor complaints. Richard Sowle, who lives nearby, said he rarely smells the landfill.

“It’s good that I’m this close. I don’t have to go that far to the landfill. As far as smells, on a really hot humid day can be really overwhelming, but for the most part it’s actually not that bad,” said Sowle.

The landfill said the goal is to keep the service free for residents of Rutherford County.

Another open house will be held Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Almaville Volunteer Fire Station.