The future of the Pratt County Landfill is taking shape now as a proposal for expansion is under consideration.

The future of the Pratt County Landfill is taking shape now as a proposal for expansion is under consideration.

Engineers have developed the proposal for the landfill expansion that will extend the life of the landfill for an estimated five to seven years. The permitted landfill usage right now will last another 22 years, said Dean Staab Pratt County environmental services director.

This just a proposal for the landfill and no timetable is established. When it does happen it will take some time to get the entire expansion complete, Staab said.

The proposed addition is some 3.25 acres. It will push the usable east side boundary another 100 feet east. The north and south boundaries will remain the same.

The proposed expansion is inside the existing landfill property and fenced area so the county will not have to purchase any new land, Staab said.

The landfill expansion is part of the county long-term look at the future of the landfill, maybe 30 to 40 years in the future.

The county owns 240 acres in the landfill site. Right now 170 acres are permitted and 7.5 acres are currently in use. The additional acres have to be permitted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and early indications are that it will no present a problem.

“We’ll probably have to amend our operating plan and permit with KDHE. They have to approve the changes,” Staab said. “Our engineers have talked to them and they think it’s no problem to do that.”

To save money the landfill will do the majority of the construction themselves. They can run their normal operations and work on the project at the same time. It’s just going to go slower, Staab said.

“It’s going to be a slow process. We’re going to try to do most of the work ourselves,” Staab said.

The first part of the expansion is improving the existing roadways and building a new road around the outside edge of the active area. The landfill also has some drainage issues in the expansion area that have to be addressed.

The elevation of the landfill will also be increased. The higher the landfill the longer it will last.
“We will be higher than we are now, maybe 10 feet higher,” Staab said.

The increase in landfill height will be carefully considered because of the closeness of homes next to the landfill property. They might not want a 200 feet high wall next to their property.
“We want to consider our neighbors,” Staab said.

The landfill is a valuable asset to the county. The landfill has a limited life span and keeping it open as long as possible is good for the county. Landfills today have to have liners. Pratt County landfill doesn’t but was grandfathered in so it can still be used, Staab said.

If Pratt eventually closes other options for trash hauling include Great Bend, Hutchinson, Dodge City or Plum Thicket in Harper County. The Plum Thicket facility is probably the most likely place when the Pratt Landfill is full.

Pratt County is involved with the regional plans for Plum Thicket.