|Bore sampling planned for new landfill site|
|April 24, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
Geologic studies are currently underway and boring and well sampling are scheduled in the next month or so as Gering and Scottsbluff continue to make progress on finding a new landfill site.
Darrell Vance, Gering’s interim director of environmental science, said the site of most interest is the Weinhold property east of Gering. However, two other sites are also being considered.
“Those sites are quite a few miles away, so it would cost us a lot more for transportation,” Vance said. “Sanitation rates would have to go even higher because of that. So we’re trying to keep the new landfill close to town.”
Cell 6 at the Gering landfill is the last space available for Gering and Scottsbluff trash, and it’s expected to be full by about 2023.
“We should be in good shape until then,” Vance said. “We’re looking at some alternative methods for covering the working face of the landfill, so that should save us some space.”
One concern about the Weinhold property is its proximity to the North Platte River. Vance said the upcoming water well sampling will tell them how deep the water table is.
“Any landfill is required by the state to be lined with a plastic liner,” he said. “We have to show that nothing can leach out of any site, no matter where we build.”
Vance said if the Weinhold property proves to be satisfactory, it will take between four and seven years before the new landfill can be opened. Several public hearings, both by the city and the state, will be required as part of the process. All the information gathered at those hearings will be forwarded to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for review before any construction can begin.
“The property is already far enough away from the highway and the airport to meet state requirements,” Vance said. “The geology studies are going on now.”
In other activity around the landfill, bids are expected to be opened shortly to build a 40x80-foot expansion to handle more recycling. The project should take from 60 to 80 days to complete.
“The recycling program is going well,” Vance said. “When we started, we were averaging a semi trailer load every three months for shipping out the recycling center in Denver. Now we’re shipping out a trailer load every two weeks. And we’d like to get that up to one every week.”
Currently, about 45 businesses and 400 residential customers are participating in the recycling program.
“We still have recycling containers available if people want to start recycling their plastic and cardboard,” he said. “We’re also working with the North Platte Natural Resourced District to get containers out to the smaller communities around the area.”