After a 4 1/2-year effort, the new landfill in Orange County is complete. It will hold the next 38 years' worth of trash for the county and will protect rainwater from bacteria.
The county was under a state mandate to shut down its landfill by the end of December 2012, but thanks to new technology, they have received a certificate to operate the new one. The new landfill is located on Porter Road, next to the old landfill.
Eight individual cells occupy the new landfill, totaling over 43 acres of land. The new cells are complete with a lining system that acts as a barrier, working to keep rainwater out of the ground where bacteria harbors.
"They are lined so that no water penetrates below the trash layer, it is collected and then it's hauled away and treated at a wastewater treatment facility and discharged," said Director of Public Works Kurt Hildebrand.
The lining system is composed of 18 inches of stone and a thick clay and rubber-like material.
"As far as I know, that's the best. This is the latest technology and the best thing that can be done to control groundwater," said Randy Clatterbuck, landfill supervisor.
Hildebrand says having the new landfill will better allow the county to manage its waste expenses. If they had done away with having a landfill altogether, they would have had to pay to ship waste to a regional one.
The old landfill will be capped in 6 months, but the county has to continue to monitor it for 30 years.
"To make sure there's nothing happening in the groundwater, make sure that nothing's happening with the slopes of the old landfill. If there's erosion that has to be fixed and receded," said Hildebrand.
The old landfill will still be used for its last 6 months. The new cells cannot be used yet because of the amount of construction debris in the immediate area. They say if any of that debris combined with trash, it could puncture the lining.