MATTHEW ROPER—LANDFILL EMPLOYEE, CONSULTANT, OR PARTNER?
April 28, 2015
The sudden need by the Jasper County BOC to set up a Solid Waste Authority (SWA) led to some investigative digging by several citizens. Questions arose after seeing a letter laying out at the 4/6/15 BOC meeting. It was dated January 12, 2015 and signed by Matthew Roper.
This letter, titled Jasper County Landfill Proposed Corrective Action, had never been mentioned or discussed in an open BOC meeting. It was signed by Matthew Roper, President of Roper Environmental Services, LLC. Matthew Roper is also the certified landfill operator hired by Karen Degges.
Matthew Roper, as consultant, proposes in his letter to Comm. Trammell and County Manager Karen Degges, that Jasper County hire Waste Eliminator of Norcross, GA to operate the landfill for a minimum of 30 years. Waste Eliminator is owned by Wes Turner of Gainesville, GA.
Some interesting facts have been discovered about this proposal and Matthew Roper.
- Matthew Roper was hired by Karen Degges on 8/7/14 as a certified landfill operator at $15 per hour, and agreed to pay him mileage back and forth to work to insure he was paid $300 per day. See his email here.
- Roper Environmental Services, LLC filed for incorporation on 8/13/14. Less than a week after he was hired.
- Matthew Roper also owns KBM Fleet Services, Inc. which filed for incorporation on 1/29/14.
- Matthew Roper also owns Roper Holdings, LLC which has been in business since 2/19/13.
- Waste Eliminators has been in business since their filing on 2/23/05. They operate from Jones Mill Rd. in Norcross/Peachtree Corners.
- Waste Eliminators does not operate state-wide as Karen Degges mentions in the video below. Their website shows they operate in the Atlanta area. “We have the trucks and containers to provide exceptional service to contractors and demolition companies, as well as residential customers in Metro Atlanta” http://www.wasteeliminator.com/index.html
Some good questions were asked at the Q&A session with the BOC at their 4/6/15 meeting. Unfortunately, most all answers were from Karen Degges, not the commissioners. It appears the commissioners have NOT done any due diligence on their own, so they allowed the County Manager to make most all the comments.
Here is a puzzling question. Why wasn’t Matthew Roper, the landfill consultant and certified operator, at the meeting to answer questions? He is the one who should know how much room is left in the landfill. Remember, Comm. Trammell told citizens at the 4/2/15 meeting at the Fire Station that “the landfill was almost full.” Matthew Roper says there should be a 30 year or longer contract. So which is it? He should also know about the hazardous waste that is giving the county problems.
Karen Degges has proposed spending $750,000 to expand the landfill and lease it to an outside entity like Waste Eliminators. No one has ever told us just where this expansion is going to be or why we would want to expand our landfill. Why would it cost $750,000? Comm. Trammell and Comm. Pennamon say they want to close the landfill, so why expand it to bring in outside waste that Jasper County citizens will pay to monitor for 30 years AFTER the landfill closes? Why not just use this $750,000 to close the landfill?
Below is a good video of a citizen asking questions. First it was asked, “Did Waste Eliminators come to us and ask us?” Karen Degges says Waste Eliminators approached our consultant (meaning Matthew Roper).
Karen Degges also said that Waste Eliminators provides rolloffs at construction sites. She said they serve all over the state, and that Waste Eliminators is looking for a partner.
No doubt, the citizen speaking in the video wondered about the relationship between Matthew Roper and Waste Eliminators when she asked if Waste Eliminators “was the only people that did this.” Karen Degges answered no. “Then why not advertise and bid since they are not the only ones that do this?” Great question! And the answer is– “We don’t want to just partner with anybody,” said Karen Degges at the 2:40 mark.
The citizen hit the nail on the head when she said, “Is the man that is the consultant the same one that’s running the landfill now? Well, it’s better for his [Matthew Roper’s] pocket.” Karen Degges assured her that she didn’t think he benefits in any way.
How deep down the rabbit hole does this go?
Will Matthew Roper with his expertise in hauling operations be assisting Waste Eliminators as a hauler or a consultant after he helps them get a 30 year contract?
How well does Karen Degges who is from Gainesville know Wes and Julie Turner of Waste Eliminators who live in Gainesville?
Is Waste Eliminators looking to expand out of the Atlanta area? Will Jasper County be the only landfill they plan to “partner” with?
Why would a man, Matthew Roper, who has 3 businesses, drive over 100 miles to Jasper County to work 3 days a week at the county landfill?
Why hasn’t Matthew Roper shown up for work at the Jasper County Landfill since the 4/6/15 meeting when questions were asked? Sources tell us he has not been there and that Greg Robinson from Public Works has been working at the landfill (he is not a certified landfill operator).
Why do we need a Solid Waste Authority? To do “research” like Comm. Luke says in the video above? Research is not why authorities are set up.
There is much more to this deal than meets the eye. Comm. Trammell can keep telling us “there are no ulterior motives.” But all this just does not pass the smell test. Commissioners, RESCIND the vote on the Solid Waste Authority Resolution and start over with a citizens committee. Public confidence and trust in the Jasper County BOC and County Manager Karen Degges does not exist because of the secret way this has all been done and the non-answers to many questions.
Your comments are welcome!