Larimer County Commissioners approve new landfill near Wellington

Larimer County is set to get its new landfill after county commissioners unanimously approved the proposed landfill site at Monday night’s land use hearing.

The new landfill, which will be called the Larimer County North Landfill, will be located at 14855 N. County Road 9, two miles east of Interstate 25 and seven miles north of Wellington. The approximately 600-acre site is expected to open in time to resume operations at the Larimer County landfill on South Taft Hill Road, which will likely reach capacity in 2024.

The new landfill is part of a regional effort in northern Colorado to build more infrastructure for solid waste management and diversion. The North Larimer County landfill will open in phases, allowing it to recover waste from the current landfill before it reaches capacity. Once this is complete, the new landfill will only receive waste from a central transfer station, which sorts the waste into different categories. With two separate operating units, the North Landfill has enough space to accommodate municipal waste for the next 100 years.

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County responds to residents’ concerns about landfill

Residents living near the site who attended Monday evening’s hearing shared several concerns with commissioners ahead of the site’s approval.

The first was that the discharge would produce noise well into the evening. However, the northern landfill will only be active during its opening hours – 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday – and will not be open to the public, according to planning documents.

Residents also raised concerns about increased traffic along County Road 9, water usage, wind speeds and litter outside the landfill.

Jill Johnson, a resident who lives on County Road 9, said she was concerned about increased traffic on the road, which she said already hosts animal trailers, tractor-trailers and cyclists.

Jake Wilson, a pavement improvement project manager, raised the concerns and said they would fully pave County Road 9, including the entrance to the facility which is currently a driveway. land, and pave residential driveway bumpers. There will also be 6-foot-wide shoulders added on either side of the road to accommodate large vehicles that will need to make wide turns in and out of the facility.

The majority of the increased traffic along County Road 9 will come from transfer trailers diverting waste from the Taft Hill facility and, later, the Central Transfer Station. Those trailers will have tarps over the top to make sure the trash doesn’t blow away, said Larimer County Solid Waste Manager Duane Penney.

Although transfer trailers are much larger vehicles than the garbage collection trucks that locals are used to seeing in their neighborhoods, they can hold up to 20 tons of trash, which will ultimately reduce passing traffic. by Wellington, Penney said.

Residents have also expressed concern about high wind speeds in the area that could potentially blow waste from the landfill onto their properties.

Penney said his team had been monitoring wind speeds at the site for several years and had resources to maintain the site in the event of a wind closure. He reminded residents that the landfill must close when winds persist at 40 miles per hour for more than an hour or gusts exceed 55 miles per hour. Penney also said the site will have fencing to help contain litter and residents can call the site operations team to report litter at any time.

The north landfill will not impact the community’s already limited water resources, said Doug DeCesare, the project manager for stormwater management. Residents expressed concerns about how the landfill would use and manage the water supply.

The project is designed to accommodate a 100-year storm and will have systems to capture and store stormwater onsite, as this runoff can become a significant pollutant if left unmanaged. The county has purchased three water faucets for employees and customers to use at the facility, and will not withdraw water resources from the surrounding community, DeCesare said.

After taking the time to address residents’ concerns, county commissioners officially approved the site. Before making his recommendation, Commissioner John Kefalas reaffirmed the county’s goals for limiting waste overall.

“If we want to be good stewards of our resources, it’s equally important to minimize the amount of waste that goes into our landfills.”

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