Defeated Box Elder County Commissioner Jim White has deferred decisions on landfill issues to the new commission.

White recently told Commissioners-elect Jay Hardy and Royal Norman that he regrets leaving them with the unresolved matter. He said that he favors putting a landfill near Snowville and allowing Waste Management Inc. to build and operate a transfer station in the county.He said the county has made a tacit agreement not to make any decisions until Davis County's request to locate a landfill in the Blue Creek area of Box Elder County is decided.

Thanks to extensions by the state, Box Elder County doesn't have to close its existing landfills until October 1995.

In a recent landfill inspection by the state Department of Environmental Quality the county "came up smelling like a rose," Commission Chairman Lee Allen said.

Still, the extension comes with stipulations, one of which is that the working area of the landfills must be covered daily with 6 inches of soil or a suitable synthetic soil.

The county has tested one such synthetic soil, a biodegradable plastic the weight of a heavy-duty garbage bag, which is spread by machine and held down by sand automatically distributed as it is laid.

Box Elder County Surveyor Denton Beecher chose the material from several possibilities because of its ease of application. Hauling enough soil to cover the landfill would take six trucks working eight hours daily. The soil then would have to be spread after closing time, Beecher said. In contrast, the plastic could be spread in 30 minutes or so at the end of the day.

Although the cost of the synthetic, primarily a one-time investment in a $16,000 machine and 4.5 cents per square foot, is comparable to hauling and spreading soil daily, the real advantage is that the plastic layer, which remains In place with solid waste dumped on top the next day, will conserve vertical space in the landfills, Beecher said.

It is now up to the state to decide if the material can be used.

"We don't have the luxury of waiting much longer," Allen said. He is the only current member who will return in January.