The city landfill is filling up faster than expected, even with more recycling efforts. So city public works leaders hope to get state permission to double the size of the landfill site north of Interstate 80.
The city wants to begin the state solid waste siting approval process for land east of the current landfill this summer, which is about 10 years before the city would likely need to begin using the new landfill site.
“It sounds early, said Donna Garden, assistant director for Public Works and Utilities. But the city needs to make certain the site is approved and is available for expansion, she said.
And some landfill siting, particularly when looking at a brand-new area, can take 10 years, she said.
This is not a brand-new site for Lincoln. The city owns the land proposed for expansion and always intended it would someday become part of the landfill.
The current landfill runs along North 56th Street (Nebraska 77) from Interstate 80 to Bluff Road. The expansion would extend the landfill east to North 70th Street.
That this land would someday become a landfill should not be a surprise, Garden said.
The city's official landfill report, part of a 2016 financial summary, indicates the current landfill will not be full until 2032. But city staff now believe the increase in landfill use means the landfill could be full by 2028, Garden told the City Council Monday afternoon.
Often people throw more stuff away during an uptick in the economy, she said. The increased use outpaces the savings the city expects to get from the ban on cardboard going into the landfill that will begin next year, she said.
The city will be seeking a state permit for both a solid waste disposal area and a solid waste processing facility for the land. A processing facility could mean composting sites, recycling centers or transfer stations.
The state permit would give the city the flexibility to use the Bluff Road site in different ways, depending on future needs, she said.
The City Council will be asked to begin the permit process later this summer, after letters are sent to nearby landowners, Garden said.
Estimates put the cost of closing the current landfill operation at $16 million, with the cost to open the new site at $10 million, without inflation, Garden said.