Over 100 people showed up at a meeting Thursday night to hear the owner of a company talk about a landfill operation proposed for western Pettis County.

Derrick Standley's business enterprise, Pettis County Development Company (not affiliated with Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County, EDSPC), is in the process of securing 628 acres of land, 95 acres of which will be dedicated to disposal.

The permitting process with DNR is in progress, and three representatives of the Department of Natural Resources were on hand Thursday at US Bank, 3615 W. Broadway, where the public informational meeting took place.

Standley made several statements about his company's intentions, and also took questions from the audience, which was limited to around two dozen people at a time in a third-floor conference room. Those waiting to get in were lined up in the hallway and downstairs and out the south door of the bank building.

According to a handout provided by Standley's PR man, the landfill project is being referred to as the “Pettis County Environmental Material Management Park” and will be located north of Highway 50 between Dresden and La Monte.

The handout states that the Pettis County Development Company received approval from the Missouri Geological Survey Program on March 4.

“We are the fourth largest waste exporting state in the nation. We export one out of every three tons, a majority of which is disposed of in the state of Kansas comes from Missouri. Missouri has roughly 14 active landfills, so that's basically one site to service anywhere from 12 to 16 counties. The local site here that's owned by WCA services about an 11-county area. It has about 10 to 12 years of life remaining, or so they say,” Standley told his audience.

“The facility that we are permitting would really come online as a replacement facility for that as that tools down. So this isn't something that's going to happen tomorrow. This is something that's going to happen over time,” Standley said.

“The other facilities that we are looking to place there will be a glass plant, two plastics molding facilities, a compost area, and whether we do a pulp mill or not remains to be seen,” Standley said. “There is a lot that is involved in making that determination.”

Each of the projects involve a permitting process, “and what we're doing here (with the disposal) is the very first of that permitting process,” Standley said, adding that “wells are being drilled in order to determine whether this is a suitable location for a disposal site.”

Once that process is complete (and monitored by DNR and Missouri Geological Survey) there will be monitoring devices placed inside “to ensure that the ground water is kept safe at all times. In terms of water usage, everything that we currently have going in there will be low impact for water usage. So we won't be affecting the surrounding area.”

Standley was accompanied by five of his associates in the room. Also present in the room was Pettis County Sheriff Brad Anders and one his deputies through the meeting.

According to Standley, about 200 sites were researched by his company. That number was narrowed down to 22. “And we selected this one because we liked it the very best.”

As for recycling, Standley explained that the US had a 40-year relationship with China. “We shipped them our recoverables, they shipped us back products. As time went on, China needed that material stream less. At the same time, that material stream kept getting more corrupt with contamination from single-stream recycling. And finally, in 2018, it collapsed,” he noted. “And with it, the recycling markets collapsed.”

About 40 percent of the US's recoverables ended up in China, Standley noted, adding that he believes the recycling market will return in the future.

“We are able to do it cleaner and better,” he stated.