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New life breathed into landfill
new deh county landfill permit pic
Shown is the Barton County Landfills current Bomag compactor in action. The County Commission Monday approved the purchase of a new Caterpillar compactor to replace this machine. - photo by Tribune file photo

 In related Barton County Landfill business, the Barton County Commission Monday morning:

• Approved the purchase of a Caterpillar 826K compactor for the Barton County Landfill at a cost of $666,975 from Foley Tractor of Great Bend, including the trade-in. The landfill purchased a Bomag 772 to spread and compact waste in 2007 in the municipal solid waste landfill.  With over 14,000 hours, maintenance and repair costs exceed $30,000 per year on the unit, Hathcock said. 

So, the department sought bids to replace it. It got two – one from Foley for the Caterpillar, and one from Berry Tractor of Wichita for another Bomag (which would cost $515,000).

In the end, however, since Foley was a local company and has offered good service on other landfill equipment in the past, Hathcock said he was more comfortable with the Caterpillar machine. Parts are also more difficult to get to find for the Bomag.

• Approved annual revisions to the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan. Under state law, the plan must be reviewed annually, Hathcock said. The Barton County Solid Waste Management Planning Committee reviewed the it and recommended certain updates which included reformatting, updated census data and updated waste volumes. The plan will now be submitted to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Waste Management.  

 Barton County will now have a landfill through at least 2075.

The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved contracting with the Wichita engineering firm SCS Aquaterra to prepare the paperwork allowing the county to modify its landfill permit. The cost of work is $149,500 and will take about a year. 

Basically, Solid Waste Director Phil Hathcock said the revised permit will double the lifespan of the facility. It is currently permitted for 30 years and the change will extend it for another 30.

The Solid Waste Department operates construction and demolition and municipal solid waste dumping areas per Kansas Department of Health and Environment regulations. However, C&D landfill has reached capacity and a permit modification was required, Hathcock said. 

When referring to capacity, Hathcock said one has to think three dimensionally. Permits refer to allotted airspace, meaning there is a maximum height a mound of waste can reach.

This was the problem with the C&D site. However, since there was a lot of engineering work that had to be done, Hathcock said it made more sense to have the permit revamped for the entire landfill. 

“We’re not changing the footprint of the landfill,” Hathcock said. They will just be making better use of existing space.

Currently, both the C&D and MSW sites consist of their own “hill” of trash. “Now, we’ll be permitting the space in between, filling in the valley,” he said.

Years down the road, there will be one big pile.  

“The landfill is one of those hidden gems,” Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said. “If we don’ have it, we would be in a world of hurt.”

In the future, it will become increasingly difficult to even open a landfill, Schartz said. But, the expansion secures one in Barton County for at least 60 more years.

The landfill is a fee-based entity, Hathcock said. No tax dollars will be used for the project.

 SCS does all the engineering services and groundwater monitoring for the BCL. The firm is under three-year contract with the county.