Landfill sharing to save money - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Landfill sharing to save money

by Danielle Wagner

BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) Landfill sharing is growing more and more popular for some counties and communities.

Currently, the Black Hawk County landfill accepts trash from Black Hawk County, Bremer County, portions of Grundy County and Jesup and Fairbank in Buchanan County.

Now, Fayette County is asking Black Hawk County to accept its trash too.

Each day, about 300 truckloads of trash get dumped at the Black Hawk County landfill. A compactor pushes the material up, spreads it out and flattens it. Running this type of operation is getting more and more expensive.

"The Department of Natural Resources is increasing the regulations to ensure ground water protection, and with the large construction costs of cells like these and the monitoring costs, it makes it difficult for small landfills to remain financially viable," said Black Hawk County Solid Waste Commission Administrator Brett Vette.

Saving money is the main reason Fayette County is hoping to close its landfill and instead set up a transfer station to send trash to Black Hawk County.

"We've got approximately a year left and then we'll close that cell and the transfer station will be established at the same location," said Fayette County Solid Waste Chairman Duane Brandt.

The Black Hawk County solid waste commission must vote to accept the extra trash for extra cash.

If Fayette County gets approved to take its trash to Black Hawk County, Fayette County will still be responsible for a transfer station, transportation costs, and $33.25 per ton of trash. This is cheaper than maintaining a landfill, and Duane Brandt said shipping the trash shouldn't impact Fayette County residents.

"The construction costs for this area have already been paid for, so if we would receive any waste from Fayette County it would help finance our future," said Vette.

Vette said the added trash won't make a big difference in terms of space. In a normal year, the Black Hawk Count landfill receives 170,000 tons of trash. Fayette County only produces 10,000 tons of trash a year.

Down the road, Black Hawk County does have room to expand the landfill.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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