DeKalb County landfill to accept 200,000 more tons of waste annually

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DeKalb County official said allowing 40 percent more nonhazardous special waste to be put in the landfill near Cortland won’t increase the size of the money-making site.

The DeKalb County Board voted Wednesday to approve an increase of 200,000 additional tons a year to be dumped at the landfill, bringing the total amount Waste Management can dump to 700,000 tons a year.

County Board Chairman Mark Pietrowski Jr. said the additional waste would be limited to a particular type, including uncontaminated soil from special construction projects or sludge from sewage treatment plants.

“It’s a different type of material,” he said. “It could end up giving the landfill more years.”

This type of waste is already allowed in the landfill, and the increase could function to fill in gaps and compact other waste in the landfill because of the material’s density, Pietrowski said.

“This is not increasing the size of the landfill,” County Administrator Gary Hanson said. “It creates greater compaction.”

Hanson said the additional waste could come from within the county, but most of it will likely come from surrounding counties.

The county is paid by the ton for use of the landfill, so the county will see increased revenue by allowing more waste. The county gets $4.73 a ton for normal waste and $3.46 a ton for special waste, Hanson said.

In order to fund the construction of a new jail, the County Board approved the landfill's expansion in May 2014. Waste management was allowed to dump a additional 500 tons of trash a day, on top of its previous 300-ton allowance. The expansion brought in about $70,000 a month toward the jail expansion.

Waste Management expects to see more opportunities for special-waste disposal contracts for one-time projects in neighboring counties in the future, according to the resolution for the new agreement.

Pietrowski added that the special waste also must adhere to Illinois Environmental Protection Agency standards, and regular waste will still be capped at 500,000 tons.