Landfill expansion update provided by Wiggins, WardCommunity, News September 24, 2019
Cherokee County residents should be able to begin using the new cells at the county landfill by Thanksgiving, if conditions cooperate.
Two of those conditions are use and weather. Both can be unpredictable.
County Manager Randy Wiggins said Monday, Sept. 23, that the new cells at the landfill should begin receiving waste by Thanksgiving.
“Expect Phase 5 Cell 2 completion and permitting before (then),” Wiggins said Monday.
He said as much to the county commission board during their regular meeting Sept. 16.
That time table still holds true a week later, with the lack of rain partly to thank.
County Solid Waste Director Rob Ward said the possibility of weather delaying the project is a real one.
“Weather delays are always possible,” Ward said.
Ward added that layers of clay have to be compacted to exact specifications while running on slopes in order to construct a landfill.
“Thus, the process is vulnerable to erosion delays, if it rains,” he said.
Wiggins also mentioned to the county commission that, should a large load of trash come into the landfill at one time, the current cells could fill up.
Wiggins cited the possibility of two or three homes being demolished or remodeled at the same time, or a similar situation, that could cause the cells to fill up early.
As long as that doesn’t happen, the current cells receiving waste should do the job until Thanksgiving, according to Wiggins.
Once the new cells are able to begin receiving trash, it will still take some time to be done with the project.
“The full construction project is not expected to be complete and fully permitted until January of 2020,” Wiggins said.
The project began more than five years ago, according to Ward. The engineering, planning, and permitting was finally completed in early 2019 and construction site prep began with surveying in April.
The county has budgeted a little more than $3.5 million for the project.
“The county planned ahead for this project and we have reserved fund balance dollars over the years to build a balance of fund dedicated to this project,” Higgins said.
While the figure is high, the cells will be usable for a long time.
“Given that the projected growth rate for Cherokee County is correct, then we should have airspace for over 20 yards after the completion of Phase 5, Cells 1 and 2, in January 2020,” Ward said.
After that, there is still more room on the property to add new cells as needed.
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