Transparency, financial security, inclusiveness, and fairness are just some of the guiding values identified by the citizens solid waste panel during its first facilitated meeting Thursday.
The committee, consisting of Sharon Sawyer, Bob Stafford, Denny Dobbs, Scott Willis, and Brenda Mullins, and headed by Wayne Haynie, shared their concerns with professional facilitators Raye Rawls and Langford Holbrook of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.
The panel has been tasked with reviewing the county’s current solid waste management, weighing a proposed deal to privatize operation of the county landfill, and proposing alternative solutions if needed.
While Thursday’s meeting was preliminary to the major discussions, the committee did draw up a list of documents and resources they said they needed to make their decision, including an external legal review of the proposed deal and consultation from experts who have worked on the landfill.
The committee also concluded that they were free to contact other waste disposal companies and landfill operators in order to present the board with concrete options.
Some companies appear to have already taken notice of the potential opportunity presented by Newton County's landfill woes. In addition to Tee Stribling of Green Hill P3, the company whose proposal is currently under consideration, Kurt Schmitz of Pratt Industries was also present at the meeting as an observer.
Pratt, which specializes in recycled paper, currently holds the curbside collection contract for the city of Conyers, and is in the process of constructing a material recovery facility in Rockdale county.
See more in this Sunday’s edition of The News.