Tuesday March 5th, 2024 7:57AM

Judge orders closure of Atlanta landfill

By The Associated Press
<p>A judge has ruled that the owners of Georgias busiest landfill, accused of violating guidelines for proper waste handling, must close by December 2004.</p><p>In a 31-page decision on Monday, Administrative Law Judge W. Joseph Baird affirmed an order filed last year by then-Gov. Roy Barnes to shut down Live Oak Landfill, a privately owned facility in southwest DeKalb County.</p><p>Local residents had complained for years of foul odors emanating from the landfill.</p><p>Its not often communities win fights against corporate giants such as this, said Gil Turman, president of the South DeKalb Neighborhoods Coalition.</p><p>In March 2002, state inspectors visited the site and found sludge was not being immediately covered. Waste Management, which owns and operates the landfill, was ordered to pay a $214,000 fine.</p><p>Waste Management officials said Monday they may appeal the ruling.</p><p>The decision to cease disposing of waste at the Live Oak Landfill on Dec. 1, 2004, will create a significant waste flow crisis for metro Atlanta and possible rate increases for citizens, said Dennis VanEvery, the companys Atlanta vice president, in a statement. Waste must now be diverted to alternative disposal sites in outerlying counties.</p><p>Mayor Shirley Franklin could not be reached for comment.</p><p>Live Oak collects about 1.2 million tons of waste a year from Georgia, Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee, according to state officials.</p>
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