Holly Trustees Consider a Transfer Station in Lieu of a Landfill



The Holly Trustees are investigating the finances and intricacies of developing a transfer station for the town instead of continuing with the current landfill. The decisions are primarily financially motivated.  A recent preliminary cost analysis estimates full compliance with the CDPHE landfill enforcement order could run as high as $795,943 which includes a lined cell and leachate collection.  The annual cost of the operation could top out at $120,508.

Gary Fuselier of GLF Enviro Consultant LLC, presented the figures during a March 21st special meeting of the Trustees.  His estimates for the transfer station are much lower than that of the landfill with construction and equipment costs at $335,611 and an annual operation cost of $15,200 to $84,000 depending on compaction rate and the amount of cubic yard material that is accepted.  The service agreement with GLF Enviro was approved by a 6-0 vote.   The Trustees are seeking loan options to finance construction as well as hoping to develop additional customers for the service within the town and with other communities.  The Granada Trustees have been contacted about sharing in the project, but they indicated among themselves, at their April 11th meeting, they prefer to continue with their own landfill operation.  Any changes from Holly, Granada, Springfield and Walsh must be submitted to the state by mid-April.  The ability to change from the required ground water well installation/monitoring option to landfill closure at state expense cannot be extended beyond April 20, 2018.

Fuselier met with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division representatives on April 3rd to discuss landfill changes and was informed of the timeline.  Some of the provisions of the transition were outlined by the CDPHE:  A written compliance agreement would be required to enact a two year extension of landfill operations while the transfer station was being constructed; the Division believes that if the landfill stays within town limits, the town remains as the local governing authority for issuing the transfer station permit.  If it is constructed in unincorporated Prowers County, the County could be the local governing authority.  At present, no specific site has been determined by the Trustees.

It was pointed out the current open disposal cell at the landfill is in good shape, so additional soil cover or grading is not required, although there would be periodic local inspections of the entire site to evaluate how well it is maintained following closure. Groundwater monitoring wells would be paid for by the Division for five years following the closure of the landfill.  The town must provide financial assurance to run the landfill operation until the facility stops accepting solid waste.  If the Division determines that post-closure groundwater monitoring is required, it will install the wells and conduct testing and evaluation at no cost for the facility for up to five years.  The town would bear the brunt of the cost of continued well monitoring if relevant contamination has been found after that period in additional to other remedial actions.

The former landfill site can be used for burning when a permit has been issued by the Air Pollution Control Division or from a county, such as Kiowa, that can issue a burn permit. In all cases, only brush, trees, limbs and woody vegetation can be burned.  Lumber, plywood, furniture wood and large tree stumps that will smolder are prohibited.  The Division has received a $1.6M budget for operations around the state.  This translates to $100,000 for the landfill closure option for the Town of Holly.

This article touches lightly on the steps needed to make the transition from landfill to transfer station. The Trustees decided on April 11th to table any action until they can develop a more comprehensive outline of the finances involved before any recommendation will be made.  The Trustees are investigating a grant from the USDA as well as 15 year loan to finance the transition.

By Russ Baldwin


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