With Middle Point Landfill nearing the end of its lifespan, the Rutherford County Commission has officially begun seeking what’s next.

After spending much of the past two years hearing presentations from possible vendors and touring sites that process solid waste, county leaders drew up a request for information (RFI) that companies will use to officially pitch their plans.

The RFI was published on June 9, Commissioner Mike Kusch said during a Rutherford County Commission meeting on June 11. Kusch, as chairman of the Public Works and Planning Committee, has been heavily involved in searching for solutions. Estimates on the landfill’s lifespan have varied, but the RFI estimates six-10 years.

The RFIs are due by Aug. 3.

Last December, Mayor Bill Ketron proposed that a solution may involve diverting most of the county’s waste into several uses for repurposing including jet fuel, composting and recycling, with an estimated cost of $530.3 million. At least some of that would be covered through public-private partnerships.

The RFI says a respondent may offer services for only specific parts of an integrated solid waste management plan, including curbside collection services as an option.

Respondents are asked to indicate which of six functions in which they are interested: community education (social media, events, etc.) collection (curbside, convenience centers); processing (materials recovery facility, composting, transfer station, etc.); transportation; disposal; and reclamation of the old county landfill (including the closed portion and the demolition debris fill).

The county asks companies to identify which “waste streams” they would handle: municipal solid waste; organics (brush, food waste, etc.); recyclables (plastics No.1-2, No. 3-7, glass, etc.); metals; items like batteries, oil and paint; household hazardous waste; waste like bulk furniture, medications, tires, etc.; and construction and demolition.

The RFI shows the county’s and City of Murfreesboro’s growing needs for solid waste disposal. The county sent 42,070 tons of municipal solid waste to the landfill in 2015 and 44,618 tons in 2018, vs. Murfreesboro’s 35,273 tons in 2015 and 39,136 tons in 2018.

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