A decision by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management may not be the final word in Best Way's application to place a waste transfer station in Clay County.
Best Way Manager Craig Maschino said that the company appealed IDEM's decision to deny the transfer station on June 11, though the company plans to stay in the county regardless of the decision.
The company's appeal will be reviewed by Indiana's Office of Environmental Adjudication on Aug. 26. According to OEA official Deborah Morris, a judge will make a final ruling on IDEM's decision following the hearing, either awarding the permit to Best Way or denying it.
Clay-Owen-Vigo Solid Waste Management District Executive Director Janet Reed, one of the transfer station's most vocal opposers, was unavailable for comment Tuesday afternoon.
According to Maschino, Best Way is currently operating in compliance with IDEM's decision, only offering services it is legally allowed to. The company currently provides homes and businesses with dumpsters and rolloff containers, which are picked up by Best Way trucks. The waste is taken to the South Side Landfill in Marion County, where it is converted to methane gas and sold to Best Way customers. However, the dumpsters are sometimes housed on Best Way's Clay County site before final disposal.
"We can do that without the permit and we plan to keep doing it (regardless of the OEA's decision)," Maschino said. "The transfer station is just another service we wanted to offer the county."
Maschino said the site is not considered a transfer station unless the garbage leaves its container. Currently, all waste stays in its container and is shipped this way until final disposal. With the permit, customers would be allowed to bring and dispose of their own garbage on-site without using the company's trucks or dumpsters.
Even without the permit, Maschino said Best Way is being utilized within the county.
"We're doing well," he said. "We're getting a lot of business... people are using our services."
IDEM's reason for turning the permit down was a lack of need for such a service in Clay County. Reed has said on several occasions her biggest problem with a transfer station was this lack of need. Maschino said he believes there is need, even with the landfill in Terre Haute.
"There is not one place people can go to within the county and drop off their waste," he said.