Atlanta -- As industry leaders report that Atlanta’s landfill space could reach capacity by next year, residents of rural cities and counties are reacting to what could happen if trains full of Atlanta’s trash hit the rails bound for their backyards. News sources are reporting several scenarios in which residents of smaller towns that lack economic and political leverage are protesting imminent landfill development.

Allied Waste Industries, Scottsdale, Ariz., which owns the Taylor County, Ga., landfill in middle Georgia that is vying for Atlanta’s trash, is proposing to build a transfer station on the west side of Atlanta. The transfer station would be the last place the city’s 5,000 daily tons of commercial and residential trash would visit before it headed to the Taylor County landfill. But Atlanta officials are recommending the transfer station building permit be denied.

Residents and county commissioners in Taliaferro County, Ga., are still protesting progressing plans to build a 1,000-acre landfill. All three county commissioners spent the night in jail in early October but eventually approved the zoning for the new landfill anyway. The Atlanta developer behind the Taliaferro landfill also is proposing another landfill in nearby Peach County. However, the state Department of Transportation denied the plan because of the proposed landfill’s proximity to an airport. The decision is being appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. Residents also are opposing a landfill in Hancock County, Ga., that has yet to be proposed.