The answer: “I want to stay in Blount County. I’m doing everything I can to stay in Blount County. I’ve found another site outside of Blount County that’s in a very favorable location, but I’d much rather stay here at home. If I can possibly stay, I will. If I just can’t, I won’t.”
The speaker: Bud Adams, operator of B&B Tire Landfill in Hayden, whose location there is at or nearing capacity, requiring him to develop another site elsewhere.
The situation: Adams applied with the Blount County Commission last year to open a landfill off Hazelrig Road on the outskirts of Cleveland. Opposition coalesced – some from local residents and some from outsiders – as well as from the town of Cleveland, who owns Hazelrig Road and objected to the additional traffic tire-hauling trucks would create. A public hearing was held by the county commission. Opponents showed up in numbers to register their objections for the record, many of them at the same time acknowledging Adams’s good business reputation and spotless record with landfill regulators. The commission appointed Blount County Solid Waste Authority held a meeting to consider the landfill application on its merits. It approved B&B’s application, but the county commission itself took a dim view of matters overall, once the controversy heated up.
The outcome: Adams withdrew his application for the Cleveland site in December, just before the scheduled commission vote to approve or deny it. Since then he’s been considering alternate sites.
Current status: The quote above exactly states Adams’ current thinking, and reflects the landfill’s status as a family-owned and -operated business, providing good-paying jobs and stable employment to about 25 workers. Based on information provided and questions answered during the application process, the business does not appear to be a threat to the environment or public safety, and will support the present and future economy of the county, if it relocates here. Doing so would require Adams to repeat every step of the application process, including a public hearing, a vote of the Solid Waste Authority, a vote of the county commission, and final approval by the Blount County Circuit Court and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).