Landfill presents annual update on operations
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
Seward County’s landfill serves more than just the county’s residents. That service area covers about 96,000 customers within as much as a 100-mile radius of Liberal.
Through state statute, landfill officials are required to present a solid waste management plan every year, and Wednesday, local leaders talked about that and several other issues regarding Seward County’s facility.
“We talked about the valuation for the county,” said recycling/marketing coordinator Norvan Correll. “It went down a little bit for last year. We talked about the population for our service area.”
Correll said the decrease in the county’s valuation should have little effect on the landfill itself.
“We don’t get tax dollars out here,” he said. “We’re totally self-supporting out here. That part doesn’t really affect us that much at all.”
A primary area of discussion, however, centered around some new items being allowed at the landfill by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
“They gave us permission to open up the top of Cell 1 and pull the plastic liner off to where we can put liquids up on the top of Cell 1,” Correll said. “Eventually, we’ll be able to be put another 20 feet of trash on top of Cell 1. We talked about the progress we made in Phase 5 in Cell 2. We put down another seven and a half acres of compacted clay liner, liche collection system, plastic on top of the clay liner. We’re in the process right now of getting it all covered up with sand.”
As far as the solid waste management plan goes, Correll said customers will see little difference in the coming year.
“We didn’t have a lot of changes this year,” he said.
With the recent retirement of former landfill supervisor Mike Tabor, a new department head is needed, and Brock Theiner, who had been serving as the waste management services supervisor, was introduced Wednesday as the interim director.
Correll said he is unsure if Theiner will become the permanent supervisor.
“I can’t really comment on that right now,” he said. “Brock’s doing an excellent job. Right now, I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t go ahead and appoint him.”
Every five years, the landfill must go through a review process in which major changes may be made, but Correll said Seward County’s facility had most of its significant changes last year.
“The years in between the five year review, sometimes they’re may not be any changes,” he said. “All we have to do is get all that approved by the county commission.”
After getting that approval, those changes are then published in the newspaper, and Correll then sends paperwork to the state.
“We send a letter to KDHE expressing there were no changes,” he said.
Correll said a few minor changes came this year.
“We update the amount of solid waste we took into the landfill in 2012,” he said. “We update that. We send that update in. Any recycling that’s gone on, we send updates on that.”
Correll said the plan he sends to KDHE is about 10 pages long and features minor updates at the landfill.
In the past three years, along with the acquisition of the Optima, Okla.-based company Rural Waste Management, landfill rates were upped by about a dollar and a half, a change that came following many years of keeping rates the same. Correll said the new rates are expected to stick for a while.
“There’s a possibility we may raise them just a tiny bit, but there’s nothing decided,” he said. “It wouldn’t take effect for at least another year or so. In 2015, we might go up just a little bit.”