A safer, bigger place to dump - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

A safer, bigger place to dump

Solid Waste Department tackles projects

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Posted: Friday, August 24, 2012 12:00 am

A safer place to dump your junk, and more space to bury it.

Those are the goals of upcoming projects at the Kootenai County Solid Waste Department, specifically a $6 million expansion of the Fighting Creek Landfill and the consolidation of two rural dump sites onto county-owned property.

"Those are our two main projects for now," said Solid Waste Director Roger Saterfiel.

Fighting Creek isn't full yet, Saterfiel promised.

But it will be in two years, he said, and Solid Waste likes to time expansions to maintain that much of a window.

"We don't get the option of telling people we don't have a place to put your garbage," Saterfiel said.

The expansion, which will be funded by accumulated Solid Waste fees and started "the earlier the better," will add an additional 13 acres, he said.

The landfill was initially 32 acres, and another 13 was added two years ago.

The state of the economy allows for some deals on construction costs, Saterfiel noted.

"We saved well over $1.5 million two years ago because of the economy, and we're hoping to take advantage of that now as well," he said.

The landfill has received 4.4 billion pounds of trash since May 1993, Saterfiel said. It currently receives 121,000 tons per year.

The expanded space could last a while.

The landfill is filling at a slower pace, Saterfiel said, thanks to the department's new recycling efforts and improvements in how garbage is compacted.

"Three years ago we found we'd gained an entire year of landfill space, because of our recycling and compaction efforts," he said, basing the information off a routine fly-over analysis.

Solid Waste will also hold a hearing before the county commissioners next month, over a proposal to consolidate the Twin Lakes and Garwood dump sites in Rathdrum at a new central location.

The new 9-acre dump site at Ramsey and Chilco roads would be in step with the county's long-term plan to relocate all rural dump sites onto county-owned property.

Located within five miles of the current sites, the new location would have 55 to 100 dumpsters and be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

Saterfiel acknowledged that the two current sites, used by a combined 540 people a day, have been provided free by the state.

But there are concerns that the state might decide to use either site for a different purpose, he said.

The county also has more flexibility to improve properties it owns, he pointed out.

"We don't own those (current) properties, so to do any improvements on them is a waste of taxpayers' money," Saterfiel said.

Improvements at the consolidated spot would include adding electricity and staffing, Saterfiel said. The improvements will make the site cleaner, he said, and better equipped to prevent issues like folks sifting through garbage for identity theft.

"In all my years of being in garbage, I never thought you'd have to worry about your safety when you dump," Saterfiel said. "The importance of it is, it's going to be a nice, clean, safe site for our residents to use. And, this is probably the most important thing, it ensures they will have a site."

The hearing over the requested conditional use permit to construct and operate a collection site at the new location is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 20, in room 1 of the county administration building.

The purchase of the new site is conditioned on the commissioners' approval, Saterfiel said, adding that he could not disclose the price of the property at this stage.

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  • my own opinion posted at 4:20 pm on Sat, Aug 25, 2012.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    Ya, you can give your kid a wooden square that say's "X Box" on it lol . just kidding I do not even like or own video games.

  • efromm posted at 10:53 am on Sat, Aug 25, 2012.

    efromm Posts: 669

    I think it's the population increase that is the problem. 20 years ago we did not need more space. Now we do. Higher impact fees on the developers to pay for all the newbies! It seems to me that they need to start recycling more stuff at the dump. And then burn the rest that can be burned. With population increases comes more garbage. They should have known....

  • ancientemplar posted at 4:08 pm on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1172

    The American consumer and product manufacturers are obsessed with packaging. There are many things sold that are encased in superfluous packaging. A change must occur in the minds for the producers to make a significant difference in our landfills throughout the country.

  • Cdajon posted at 9:18 am on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    Cdajon Posts: 384

    Garbage will overtake our lands soon. Nearly everything you buy is garbage...new garbage that is. Stop buying boxed foods..plastic toys..stupid chemical cleaners ect. Buy whole foods..wooden toys ect. But I'm afraid our population is so dumbed down and fat that we'll never achieve this. Look around you..excess garbage and excess weight go hand in hand.

  • carol posted at 8:52 am on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    carol Posts: 436

    voxpop, It sounds as though you have not been to a transfer station because that is what they use, dumpsters. Consolidating collection areas makes people not want to drive 20/30 miles to dump trash. If collection areas were closer to where people live they will use it more often and not burn it. I would bet that the carbon footprint is much larger If you consider all the gas and emissions used to take trash to consolidated collection sites further away, than if the collection sites were closer and the big garbage trucks picked up the dumpsters.

  • AnonymousCda posted at 8:21 am on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    AnonymousCda Posts: 299

    They've done test drills for water depth. An most places in the North of the County is a no go. Love the ideal of more recycling and banning grocery bags (even plastic bottles) across the County region. Just remember at the drop area much of that is recycled more so than you think.

  • Joseph Jr posted at 7:46 am on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512

    QUOTE: ""Three years ago we found we'd gained an entire year of landfill space, because of our recycling and compaction efforts," he said, basing the information off a routine fly-over analysis."

    If all businesses and residential customers were required to recycle, and provided two separate receptacles, both land fill space and environment would benefit greatly. Some cities make recycling a requirement and will actually go through your trash if they suspect you are not recycling and give you a fine.

  • voxpop posted at 5:46 am on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    The county could easily save millions by eliminating all dumpster sites. Controls and costs could be better managed by running all trash collection through the transfer station. Perhaps build another transfer station up north, but in any event, no more dumpsters for so many people to abuse.

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