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Shredder to extend life of landfill
September 02, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Within the next few weeks, the Gering landfill will be able to save a large amount of space after they take delivery on a trash shredder Sept. 12

“Our new shredder will reduce the volume of the garage,” said Darrell Vance, Gering’s Director of Environmental Services. “The amount of tonnage will be the same, but shredding will give us more airspace in the landfill.”

Vance said additional airspace will allow the landfill to remain in operation longer before filling up. With the shredder and an already operational compacter, the life of the landfill could be extended for another eight to 10 years.

“Before we got any of the new equipment, the landfill would have been filled by 2024,” he said. “Now we’re looking at 2032 or 2034 before we have to move to a new landfill.”

In addition to shredding garbage into finer material, the machine is also capable of shredding shingles and tires, something the landfill doesn’t currently do.

However, city council approval would be needed before that service was offered.

“I’ve talked with a number of businesses who would like us to offer tire shredding,” Vance said. “We could even use some of it for our required daily cover at the landfill.”

Vance also said the landfill already accepts construction and demolition waste, but it doesn’t compact well. Shredding would make it much easier to place in the landfill, while taking up much less space.

The cost of the shredder is about $710,000. Gering already has received a $168,000 grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. The rest will be paid from the landfill’s equipment set-aside fund. The City of Scottsbluff will also help pay for the shredder, because waste from Scottsbluff is also buried in the Gering landfill.

Vance said the shredder delays finding another landfill location. “We’ve looked at two or three potential sites, but we’re still waiting to hear back from the landowners to see if they’re interested,” he said. “We have to have multiple potential sites identified and studies done on them before we can even apply with the state. It takes anywhere from seven to 10 years to get a permit.”

Once the shredder arrives, it will be placed in the landfill and will be in use after staff undergoes three days of training on how to operate the machine.

Vance said the city is becoming more active in promoting its single-stream recycling program to help extend the life of the landfill. Currently, the landfill is averaging two semi loads of recyclables and about one semi load of cardboard. The recyclable refuse is hauled
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