Every county depends upon essential services to function properly — police, fire, EMS and many others, including waste services. The Central Kentucky Landfill (CKL) has proudly served Scott County in the latter role for almost 20 years, providing an affordable, friendly service while employing many local residents.
We are committed to safe, responsible operation and have a track record to prove it. We’re also thankful that most Scott Countians recognize our important role in the community.
While it may not always seem like it, having a local landfill is a tremendous benefit and convenience. Our work may not be glamorous, but we are critical to the future development of Scott County. CKL keeps local waste collection rates low for businesses and residents while providing valuable tax revenue to support our schools, roads and other infrastructure.
Local government operated the landfill until 1999 when extensive environmental regulations and increased cost of compliance made it too costly to afford. That’s when Waste Services of the Bluegrass (WSB) stepped in and purchased the landfill. Our operations have since generated millions in local revenue, offered “free dump days” for locals — an annual $125,000 in-kind contribution to the community — and provided reliable and cost-efficient waste disposal for residents.
At the same time, local government agreed that the landfill would also accept waste from Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Shelby, Woodford and 10 other nearby counties. This was not an oversight. The city specifically included this in its official, pre-sale, permit because it was clear that limiting the landfill to Scott County alone would not be economically viable.
In 2012, we developed expansion plans to ensure that CKL had the capacity and infrastructure necessary to serve the community for the next 20 years. The expansion was unanimously approved by the Scott County Fiscal Court and had preliminary approval from the Kentucky Division of Waste Management which was set to become final in January of 2017. Part of the initial expansion included a multi-million-dollar gas containment and collection system that would not only provide odor control technology, but would also generate significant “green” electricity for our region’s largest employer.
Unfortunately, last minute opposition from a Northern Kentucky lawyer representing an unnamed client brought about a change in position from local government, stalling CKL’s improvements for over two years. This has directly contributed to current odor concerns from the community. Sadly, these misguided efforts have forced us to spend vast sums on legal fees and engineering redesign as opposed to operational improvements that will benefit Scott County for decades to come.
The fact is, we have owned and operated the landfill for nearly 20 years experiencing very few complaints or regulatory issues until the eve of approval for our long-planned expansion. It is only because of a small, yet very vocal, opposition that we are now nearing capacity and dealing with odor control concerns.
Despite these setbacks, we are committed to being a good neighbor in Scott County. We are investing another $1.5 million in a major upgrade to our gas containment and collection system to mitigate odor issues brought about by delays in our expansion. This work began in early February and our goal is to complete this project by the end of March.
This project will allow us to generate even more power to help our region’s largest employer meet their clean energy needs. Scott County waste is truly powering thousands of local jobs.
Incredibly, during the routine permitting for this green power generation system, some local detractors actually challenged the permit to allow these improvements.
While this project will help address the odor concerns, it is not the entire solution. Smartly expanding the landfill’s waste disposal area within our current property is the only thing that will ensure CKL’s viability for the future.
We ask the community to please be patient over the next few weeks as we expand our gas containment and collection system with the drilling of new wells. There will be brief periods when odor may intensify, but we are installing the system in a sequence to minimize this. Weather permitting, the new system will be installed and fully operable by the end of March.
We look forward to serving Scott County as an employer and essential service provider for many years. And we vow to keep investing and innovating to be the best asset we can be for the community.