Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016
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Commissioners eye expansion of landfill

Defiance County officials are mulling expansion of the county landfill that would add enough capacity to last for the next 98 years.

County commissioners told Tim Houck, landfill manager, to file a request with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for a lateral expansion at the site.

A lateral expansion would allow landfill employees to use connected land to expand their dump instead of placing more garbage atop garbage, as in a vertical change. Mr. Houck said the proposal would call for the landfill, which he said will be out of space in fewer than six years, to more than double in size.

Now at 66 acres, the site ultimately would be increased by 78 acres.

The cost in the current economy would be $169 million, but that will grow as inflation is factored in over the years, he said.

“We would have a 100-year facility,” Mr. Houck said. “We know it's going to be expensive to do, but we could continue to provide this service to our customers.”

He said the landfill would try not to increase its rates but keep them competitive with dump sites elsewhere.

Across northwest Ohio, the most recent landfill expansion was approved by the state July 30 for Wood County.

It allows the county landfill's capacity to increase by 460,000 cubic yards with a vertical expansion increasing the landfill's height to 40 feet.

Last year, state officials on June 2 approved a lateral expansion - similar to the one being discussed in Defiance County - for the Erie County landfill.

That expansion allows for the landfill to grow by 61 acres.

Dina Pierce, of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, said yesterday public hearings typically are required for landfill requests that would increase the landfill capacity by more than 10 percent, depending on how the application is prepared.

Residents also are entitled to request hearings throughout the application process and always have a right to voice their opinions on requests during state-mandated written comment periods, she added.

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