Eight acres of ground, dug down to the appropriate grade and depth for a new phase of the Barton County Landfill involved moving an incredible amount of dirt, but between the landfill staff and contractors, the work was accomplished and now the finishing work is underway to prepare to open the third phase of the landfill.
Landfill Manager Mark Witt explained that the staff have been working on the excavation over the past four to five years, moving as much as they could. “That save us a lot of money,” he commented, adding during those years, the staff moved some 300,000 cubic yards of soil. On the other two phases, the county spent more than $400,000 for excavation, Witt reported earlier.
Then contractors move about 34,000 more yards to get to the level that was appropriate to build up the base for the new phase.
It requires a team of engineers, representing the county, the contractor and the state to determine that the base and the grade, all of the construction details, really, are just right to insure that the facility will operate safely.
After the correct depth was reached, Witt explained, the soil was compacted and clay was added — fortunately for Barton County, there is appropriate clay soil at our landfill. In many facilities the soil has to be trucked in, which is yet another major expense.
As the clay is moved into place, it is compacted and the slope of the floor and the sides of the phase is both compacted and graded to make sure that the correct construction is maintained.
That is the work being conducted now.
When that is completed, the new construction will be tied into phase two, the artificial liner will be installed and a sand base will be leveled before the new phase can begin to accept refuse.
Witt said the new phase should be put into use around the middle of May to the first of June.
That will not mean that phase two will be permanently closed, however.
Witt explained that this phase is being opened so that it can be built up to a height that will allow for additional use of phase two, and even, later, of more of phase one.
Beyond this, there are three more phases that can eventually be opened in the county landfill.
Witt added that the life of the facility will continue to be extended as the county participates in more recycling programs and as the public helps to keep as much refuse out of the landfill and into recycling as is possible.
Barton County is fortunate to have the facility here to work with and Witt urged that when the day finally comes that it is complete, opening another will be incredibly expensive.
In the meantime, work continues to make the new phase as safe as possible, he stressed.
Witt explained earlier, these projects are funded through the dumping fees collected at the landfill, and not from property tax funds.