To begin implementation of the Solid Waste Management Act, counties were instructed to form solid waste regions (single or multicounty) and establish a solid waste board and advisory committee for each region. The primary function of this board is to make and annually update a plan for a 10-year disposal capacity and to achieve compliance with the waste reduction and recycling goal required by T.C.A. §§ 68-211-861, T.C.A. § 68- 211-813.
The regional boards are established by resolution of the county legislative body or by agreement of each participating county adopted by resolution of each county legislative body in the region and may be modified by agreement of the county legislative bodies. The board consists of an odd number of not fewer than five nor more than 15. Each member county must be represented by at least one board member. Municipalities that provide solid waste collection or disposal services, either directly or by contract, must be represented on the board. However, municipalities entitled to representation may agree to joint or multiple representation by a board member or for a county member to represent one or more municipalities upon agreement of the local governing bodies that share representation. Any such agreement must specify the method of making the shared appointment. Otherwise, members are appointed by the county and municipal mayors of the participating counties and municipalities, subject to confirmation by their respective legislative or governing bodies. Members of county and municipal governing bodies, county and municipal mayors, county and municipal officers and department heads as well as other citizens may be appointed to the board. The county and municipal mayors, and any other authorities, who appoint members must strive to ensure that at least two (2) elected officials serve on each regional board. Members serve terms of six years, except for initial appointments for two, four and six years to create staggered terms. T.C.A. §§ 68-211-861, T.C.A. § 68- 211-813.
Regional areas (and their boards) may be changed only by approval of the county legislative bodies of the counties involved in the change and with the approval of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which will review the new or revised plans and receive information regarding the new board members. T.C.A. §§ 68-211-811, 68-211-813. These regional boards are constituted according to the provisions of T.C.A. § 68-211-813. Additionally, each region was required to formulate a plan for collection and disposal of solid waste in the area and submit this plan to the State Planning Office by July 1, 1994. A regional plan may be revised at any time to reflect subsequent developments in the region subject to approval by the Department of Environment and Conservation. Each municipal solid waste region must submit an annual progress report to the department regarding how this annual activity affects the regional plan over the next 10 years. T.C.A. § 68-211-814.