Across Appalachia

Agreement Stops Trash Trains in Boyd County, Ky.

Date: June 14, 2016

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By Hannah Petersen

Due to an agreement spearheaded by a citizens group in Boyd County, Ky., Big Run Landfill will stop accepting waste brought in by rail and will transition to a regional landfill accepting trash only from within 75 miles of the site. According to Boyd County Judge-Executive Steve Towler, the residents of Boyd County saw the last “trash train” delivery on April 19, after raising complaints of disruptive odors for nearly two years.

Ending the trash trains was the result of an agreement between the Citizens of Boyd County Environmental Coalition, Boyd County Fiscal Court, Big Run Landfill and the state Department for Environmental Protection. The agreement not only eliminates all rail deliveries but also requires the closure of large areas of the landfill and installation of air monitoring systems around the property.

“It was something I knew had to be taken care of,” says Towler. “This agreement brought everyone together to reach a beneficial and reasonable conclusion.”

Big Run is Kentucky’s largest landfill and holds nearly 43 million tons of waste within a mile of a high school and nearby homes. For years, Big Run had accepted waste brought on trains from as far away as New Jersey, according to The Herald Dispatch.

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