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All household waste sent to Lander to fill landfill before 2023 deadline

May 2, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

The larger Sand Draw site would accept only construction and demolition waste until then.

In an effort to fill the Lander landfill before its mandatory closure in 2023, the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District has decided to direct all household trash to that site.

The decision came as one of a host of policies designed to save money the district adopted in April to address major financial concerns.

"We'd basically mothball (the landfill at) Sand Draw just take C and D out there, and only take MSW to Lander," district superintendent Andy Frey told board members, using initials for construction and demolition waste and municipal solid waste.

"We have to be out of this footprint by the end of 2023."

Without any changes, the Lander landfill would not be full until 2030, according to a report from engineering firm Tryhydro Corporation. The district wants to bring more waste to the Lander dump to fill it as much as possible ahead of the 2023 deadline.

The license from the Department of Environmental Quality permitting the Lander landfill expires in 2023 and requires it to be capped in 2024.

Once the landfill is closed, it must be covered with material to keep the waste from contaminating the environment, called a cap. Closing the landfills and caring for them afterward is expected to cost $6.2 million, an expense for which the district recently began saving.

It has set aside $2.6 million so far, but the liability has the district's board nervous and spurred it to look for ways to cut costs.

Currently, the district has been baling waste at in Riverton and hauling it to Sand Draw. Bringing it to Lander under the new plan only adds 20 miles to the round trip, Frey said, so the additional cost would be small.

Following another decision at the meeting, the district is to haul the waste loose from Riverton, rather than baling it first, and compact it at the Lander landfill. The Sand Draw landfill will still accept MSW from nearby rural residents who haul it their themselves, Frey said.

After the Lander dump closes in 2023, the solid waste district will switch to hauling all waste to the Sand Draw landfill. Following current use, that facility would have space until 2062.

The district board also approved closing the Shoshoni landfill in 2018, but faces a similar situation to the Lander site. It was built in 1978 but is only 22 percent full, according to the engineers.

At the same time, the consultants concluded keeping that dump open would be more expensive than closing it in 2018.

Frey did not think the closure would impact residents much.

"That landfill right now is only a C&D landfill and it's only open one day a moth," Frey said. "It's rare to have anyone use it."

Before it closes, the district plans to fill the Shoshoni landfill as much as it can.

"There's a lot of room in the Shoshoni landfill. It's kind of wasted room there," district board chairman Mike Adams said.

To help fill that landfill, the board voted April 21 to also bale all of the tires it receives and bring them to the Shoshoni facility.

Frey said hauling all the tires from the county to that one location would be cheaper than existing recycling options.

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