Almost $800,000 in costs and some eight acres of ground since it began, the newest phase of the Barton County Landfill is done and, hopefully, will be open for use this week, Solid Waste Manager Mark Witt told the Barton County Commission Monday.
Witt said it’s only due to a natural disaster that the site isn’t already in use.
He explained that the section of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that has to give its final approval for the new phase to go into use has been swamped recently, working to approve emergency landfill areas in the wake of the Reading tornado.
However, Witt said they are expected to be on hand here this week and the facility should go into use.
The project was bid in at $798,516.74, Witt reminded the commissioners Monday.
He had reported earlier that one of the reasons that cost wasn’t higher was due to work that his staff has been doing, long before it was time to start Phase III.
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 saved 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 moved about 34,000 more yards to get to the level that was appropriate to build up the base for the new phase.
Witt also reminded the commissioners that funding for this new phase came from the Solid Waste Fund, which is created from tipping fees at the landfill, and does not include local tax dollars.
The area of Phase III is actually 7.3 acres and Witt noted that for the first part of its use, the landfill staff will show extreme caution, to make sure that, until a base of refuse is built up, items are not compacted in such a way that they could ever get forced through the protective liner.
Even a broom stick, place wrong, could, with enough pressure behind it, rupture the liner.
Witt noted earlier that after Phase III is built up to a certain height, the county can begin use on the first two phases again.
Beyond that, Barton County still has enough room to open three more phases, before the current landfill would be out of space, Witt noted.