SOUTHBRIDGE —  Landfill operator Casella Waste Systems has been granted approval from the state to deposit household trash and garbage regardless of its origin.

The town-owned Barefoot Road landfill is permitted to bring in 180,960 tons per year, but takes in only a limited amount of household or municipal solid waste from Southbridge homes. The majority is construction and demolition waste from anywhere.

Casella spokesman Joseph Fusco said the waste management company will likely start bringing in the additional municipal waste right away.

Asked if construction waste has dwindled with the economic downturn, he said, “I think it’s fair to say the mix of waste changes as the economy changes.”

“Waste is a wonderful reflection of human activity,” he said. “You see a lot more cardboard boxes around Christmastime. In economic downturns, as people build fewer houses, perhaps remodel less, take on fewer of those larger projects, you do see changes in volumes. They’re not significant changes, but it becomes more challenging to find that kind of waste, certainly.”

In 2008 the Southbridge Board of Health, in a 3-2 vote, approved Casella’s request to change the mix of waste, with a capacity of up to 405,600 tons per year.

A year earlier town councilors voted 5-4 in favor of a long-term landfill extension agreement.

Asked when that full tonnage could be deposited, Mr. Fusco said, “I don’t think we have any definite timeframe in our minds. Under the site assignment a number of conditions (58) have to be met. It’s kind of a staircase: there are a number of steps between today and that,” including completion of a construction access road from Route 169 to Barefoot Road, a landfill gas-to-energy project and certain performance criteria.

“That’s a ways off,” Mr. Fusco said.

Town Manager Christopher Clark is slated to discuss the changes with councilors at Monday night’s meeting at Town Hall.

Several residents from Southbridge and neighboring Sturbridge and Charlton have expressed opposition to the waste management company’s request.