Contact: Mac Dukart
Landfill Project Will Improve Groundwater Quality, Increase Opportunities for Recycling and Composting
October 9, 2012, Jackson, WY – State-required capping of the old Horsethief Canyon Landfill, as well as needed improvements to County solid waste management facilities, prompted the Board of County Commissioners and the Jackson Town Council to place the landfill project on the November 6 Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) ballot.
If approved by voters, $14,517,821 of SPET funds will support:
- An improved landfill cap and a surface water diversion system that will mitigate impacts to the groundwater at the site by minimizing surface water infiltration into the trash below;
- A rehabilitated and expanded usable site at Horsethief Canyon for updated trash transfer, composting and recycling operations; and,
- Designs for improved composting and recycling facilities.
The County’s old landfill, located underneath the present-day Trash Transfer Station, has not received waste in 23 years; however, groundwater contamination has recently been discovered at the site. Not only do the old landfill and groundwater beneath the site need attention; so do the facilities at the Trash Transfer Station. With existing solid waste management and composting facilities nearing capacity and no other viable sites available, planning and permitting for updated facilities is critical to allow Horsethief Canyon to serve the community for the long-term. Additionally, improvements to the solid waste system will result in expanded recycling, composting, and other waste diversion opportunities in the future.
Specifically, improvements to the composting operation, and ultimately the expansion of the list of organic materials accepted, will have a great impact on the diversion of Teton County’s waste from the landfill. “Organic waste makes up at least 30% of the municipal solid waste stream and is heavy due to its high moisture content. Therefore, the cost to dispose of organic waste in the landfill is high.” said Heather Overholser, Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling (ISWR) Division Chief, “On a more sophisticated and expanded scale, composting could dramatically increase the County’s recycling rate, reduce the amount of money spent on landfilling waste, and generate a high-quality end-product to be used within this community.”
The trash transfer station and composting facility will continue to operate and accept materials throughout the landfill capping and construction process.
More about SPET - The election date for the landfill project (Proposition #3) is Tuesday, November 6. This SPET proposition is specifically for:
- The planning, design, permitting and construction of an improved landfill cap;
- Environmental monitoring at the site; and,
- The planning, design, and permitting of improved facilities at the Transfer Station site.
SPET is an existing tax - specifically it is one penny on every dollar spent on most goods and services in Teton County, paid by both residents and visitors alike. No extra taxes will be added to fund this project. The second phase of the project will complete the construction of the trash transfer and composting facilities. Funds for the second portion of the project will be sought at a later date, once the planning for the entire project is complete.
Efforts to protect the environment at the Horsethief Canyon Landfill site will also allow ISWR to improve solid waste system efficiencies, recycling opportunities, and overall experiences at the facility, today and for the future.
To view a brief online video presentation regarding this issue, click here:
To view a project fact sheet, click here: http://www.tetonwyo.org/recycling/docs/IntegratedWaste_Print.pdf.
Or visit ISWR’s homepage at http://www.tetonwyo.org/recycling.
The online presentation was produced by local visual storyteller Steve Jansen of So What, LLC. ISWR staff is available to provide information on this project for your group or organization. Contact the ISWR office at 307-733-7678 to schedule a presentation.