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County approves landfill expansion

Posted 4/11/12 (Wed)

By Lauren Billing
Farmer Staff Writer

The McKenzie County Landfill, which is six miles west of Watford City and two miles south on 132nd Avenue Northwest, was built in 1992 and spans 30 acres. With the McKenzie County Landfill quickly running out of space to put any more waste, the McKenzie County Commissioners have approved a $1,171,170 contract to expand the landfill.
During the commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday, April 3, Burski Excavation of Rice, Minn., was awarded the contract to add an additional municipal cell as well as another inert cell to the existing facility.
“This is the final municipal cell in the existing landfill footprint,” says Mike Greer, McKenzie County engineer. “It will encompass an additional one and a half acres within the current footprint.”
The time line for the expansion is extremely short with completion mandated in the contract by mid-August. The rush is due, in part, to the immediate need of space. But it also complies with regulations for waste disposal.
The lining of the landfill must be in place and already have a layer of waste in place before the first freeze. Otherwise, there is risk that the liner could freeze and crack, according to Greer.
Greer knows that this expansion will get the county through the next couple of years, but more will have to be done in the future.
“We are looking at an additional 90 acres,” says Greer. “We hope to have more space purchased from the state by the fall. The current awarded project accommodates waste flows for two years, but to establish a new 50-year plan, we need to expand to the south and west.”
The increase in industry and residents has created more and more waste. With space running low, the county has pushed for this initial expansion of landfill area, but with waste continuing to mount, more acres will be needed to keep pace.