Matlock Bend Landfill operator Santek Waste Services has reported continuation of good behaviors to stay in the good graces of Loudon County Solid Waste Disposal Commission.

Santek during the February meeting provided proof it had begun implementing changes at the request of the board and concerned residents.

Kevin Stevens, solid waste board attorney, said Santek needs to “maintain the same operational standard,” which is what is happening.

One of the revisions at the request of the board is taking progress pictures with time stamps from the same locations that are easily identifiable, Ben Johnston, Santek representative, said. Previously, photos were from various locations so progress could not be easily seen, and it was unclear from which access roads the photos were taken.

“As far as operationally, not a whole lot has changed, you know, continuing to just get better, day to day, and focus on the areas that we can improve,” Johnston said.

Santek is adding gravel “where necessary” on the landfill pathways and is “out working on the pad, day in and day out,” Johnston said.

Even though he stressed that not much has changed, Santek is continuing to “refine and work on the areas where (they) can improve.” The landfill operator did run into an issue one week when there were “unforeseen events” with water lines that caused the water to be shut off “multiple times” in a week for an extended period of time, Johnston said.

“Justin (Givens) and his crew worked really hard getting that fixed,” he said. “As soon as it was resolved, we were out there making sure that the road was in tip-top shape to the best of our ability.”

In February, Johnston presented the purchase order for a wheel wash system, which was estimated to take 18-22 weeks to be manufactured and installed. As of March 11, the wheel wash is on track to arrive no later than June 1, Johnston said.

“So right now we’re just kind of working on getting power, getting water to appropriate area and preparing for the delivery of that system,” he said. “Much aside from that, just trying to again focus on the day to day operations and operate to the best of our ability.”

Larry Jameson, solid waste board member, said the changes are a “vast improvement.”

“I’ve only had one complaint this month,” Jameson said. “… Mud’s gone, but the road’s wet. The whole principal behind this complaint from the board to you all was to keep the mud in the landfill. That was your challenge and your goal is to do that. … As long as you execute doing what (you are) doing, you’re doing what the community has asked you to do, has asked us to enforce. Again I will not sit down and tell you your job of what to do and what not to do. The wheel wash, the gravel, the men pressure washing, whatever, that’s your job. That’s your decisions and your expenditures along with that. But, again, the community thanks you. … It’s you all that have done it, not us.”