According to Cheryl Dunson of Santek those who do not understand or know the regulations governing the landfill may be surprised at what they find there.
This was the case for one Bradley County resident, who became concerned recently when he saw bags of asbestos being dumped at the landfill. The resident forwarded a photograph of the containers, clearly marked “Danger,” to the Cleveland Daily Banner for review. The photograph showed landfill equipment preparing the bags for disposal.
Dunson said the state has approved the landfill as a receiving site for both friable and non-friable asbestos.
“We don’t see a lot of friable (asbestos),” Dunson said.
She said this is an older form of asbestos, and it is required to be bagged up before being put in the landfill because it can become airborne. Non-friable asbestos does not have to be in bags because it cannot become airborne. When the landfill knows someone is bringing asbestos, it prepares a spot for it by digging a hole the materials can be put in.
In addition to the Bradley County landfill being state-authorized to received asbestos, anyone who brings asbestos to dump there must also have approval to transport and dispose of the asbestos.
Dunson said the landfill has “blanket approval from the state” meaning it can accept asbestos at any time.
To gain state approval, the transporter of a special waste product (anything beyond household trash) must submit an application to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Chattanooga field office. The state then notifies the individual and the designated landfill if approval has been granted, according to Dunson.
Regulations also govern how asbestos can be transported.
“We require all waste streams to be covered with a tarp (during transportation),” Dunson said.
However, not all contaminated soil can be taken to the Bradley County landfill.
“Typically the state will determine based on the TCLP (toxicity characteristic leaching procedure) ... where the waste will be taken,” Dunson said. Nonhazardous contaminated soil is accepted at the Bradley County landfill.
The Bradley County Landfill is not approved to accept hazardous materials.