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NWA Letters to the Editor

May 23, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.

Region needs new way

to deal with its garbage

The 609-acre Eco-Vista Landfill has operated for over 40 years under a couple of operators. I believe there have only been two operators, Sunray and Waste Management. When Sunray owned it, there was no law requiring them to seal the base of the landfill. Waste Management, or WM, wants to expand the Class I (household garbage) landfill over the top of the old bottomless landfill. Won't that old part of the landfill end up in the aquifer and our drinking source if many tons of trash are placed on top of it?

I would encourage everyone to take a drive down Arbor Acres off Barrington in Tontitown to see where the trash mountain is located. You'll be able to see and smell the "buried" trash.

Tontitown has the same karst topography as the rest of Washington, all of Benton, Madison and Carroll County. Karst is formed from dissolution of soluble carbonate rocks such as limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by features like poljes above and drainage systems with sink holes and underground caves like the rest of Northwest Arkansas.

Do we know if Waste Management is destroying our aquifer?

You stated in your May 7 editorial that the local solid waste district in the 1990s determined there was no location in Benton, Washington, Madison or Carroll counties suitable for a landfill. Tontitown is in Washington County, with the same karst formations.

Your closing arguments are lacking in research. You state "... the region needs that landfill as long as possible, if it's operating in a way that protects the environment." WM breaks every rule it can get away with. Google Arkansas Rule 22 to see how they are supposed to operate a landfill. On May 10, we had our third fire of the year. It is always very scary to see the trash mountain on fire with all the methane it holds. Rule 22 dictates how the trash is to be covered daily and weekly. They fail to comply with that regulation regularly.

Why not research other ways of dealing with trash? Tulsa incinerates it and buries what is left after the burn. It's because WM makes money on the trash and then sells the gas to Black Hills who sells the gas to most of us. They do not want to change this.

If you are concerned about the health of the people and the environment of our great state, please join us at the public hearing at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Tontitown at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25. Members from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and others will be there to take your questions concerning the expansion.

D.R. Greene

Washington County

Print Headline: NWA Letters to the Editor


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