Landfill Rulings Made By Two State Legislatures

Charleston, W.Va. - After postponing a ban on yard waste disposal at landfills until 1997, state legislators have decided to provide their constituents with more alternatives.

One such alternative allows residents to dispose of their waste in a publicly or privately operated composting facility. In addition, they may compost the material themselves on their own property and, if consent is obtained, on adjoining properties or neighborhoods.

Burning also is an acceptable me-thod, if it's not prohibited by municipal or county codes and ordinances.

Finally, for those residents and tenants participating at a publicly or privately operated landfill, disposal is allowed in small quantities, when no other alternatives are available.

Also, the W.Va. Supreme Court ruled that fees on landfills imposed by county and regional solid waste authorities are constitutional. State law gives the county authorities the power to charge landfills up to 50 cents a ton. Revenues from the fee will fund local solid waste programs.

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, N.C., a proposed rule change that would have allowed some unlined landfills to re-main open beyond 1998 was rejected by the N.C. Commission for Health Services. These landfills must still close by the state mandated 1998, and now may have to install clay caps as well.

Also, the commission has requested that a draft be prepared of a new proposed rule that requires all landfill closures to include a cap system with a compacted clay liner, as well as a geomembrane liner to reduce infiltration of rainwater.

Another bill that was ratified al-lows county commissions, not state regulators, to decide whether to is-sue permits for "demolition" landfills of less than one acre.

At the close of the 1995 session, the three bills of greatest interest to the solid waste community - A-mendments to the Solid Waste Act of 1989, Transfer Facilities Public Hearings and Amendments to the Solid Waste Facilities - were neither approved nor rejected. These bills are likely to resurface when the Ge-neral Assembly reconvenes in 1996.