Local counties and cities sold off one landfill in Lowndes County in the late 1990s, and a second one in 2005 through the Deep South Solid Waste Management Authority. Yet in 2007 the Deep South Municipal Regional Solid Waste Management Authority (WMA), with the same county and city member governments, was still active, discussing a regional recycling station. And it is still active today, including some of the same board members the entire time since 2005, such as Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson. Hanson was not present last week when Valdosta Mayor John Gayle said Valdosta does not control the landfill, or perhaps he would have mentioned that Valdosta through its longterm seat on the WMA board does have some degree of control over the landfill’s operations.
I notice quite a few of the Valdosta City Council’s own minutes record discussions and votes related to that WMA including this item from their Regular meeting of 4 October 2014, which was called to order by Mayor Gayle:
- Boards, Commissions, Authorities, and Advisory Committees
- Consideration of an appointment to the Deep South Regional Municipal Solid Waste Management Authority. — Appointed Richard Hardy, Public Works Director (7-0 Vote).
There must be some advantage to the City of Valdosta to have two members (Hanson and Hardy) on the WMA board. Certainly the average citizen or organization does not have that.