The city and Missouri Department of Natural Resources have brokered a deal that will save a significant amount of money and not require the relocation of 45,000 cubic yards of waste at the Washington Landfill. 

City council members approved the agreement following a special meeting Tuesday afternoon. 

The DNR last year cited the city for overfilling one waste area, or cell, by 46,000 cubic yards of waste and required the city to develop a plan to move that amount to a new cell. 

As a result of that notice, the city hired SCS Aquaterra, an engineering firm, to develop a waste relocation plan and sought bids from contractors for moving the waste. 

The project, however, was delayed by construction of the new cell, which was recently completed months behind schedule by the J.H. Berra Construction Co., according to City Administrator Jim Briggs. 

“We met with DNR last week and the consensus was that no one wanted to have to move that trash,” Briggs told The Missourian. 

That’s when the agreement was reached that if a study would show that the soil in the overfilled area is stable, the DNR would agree to not require moving the waste, he said. 

The council’s decision Tuesday was to award a new contract to SCS Aquaterra to conduct an independent soils analysis and prepare a landfill permit amendment for the adjustment, Briggs said.

The cost of the contract is $32,000, according to Briggs. 

In addition, the city will agree to pay a $7,500 fine to the DNR, Briggs said. 

“DNR and Aquaterra both feel that the 3-to-1 slopes are stable,” the city administrator said. “We will have to amend our permit and give up 45,000 cubic yards of space elsewhere in the landfill,” he added. 

Cost Savings

The city will save almost $169,000 under the agreement approved this week. 

The cost to prepare the new plan and pay the fine is $39,500, compared to $207,800, the lowest of three bids, to move the trash, Briggs said.

The 45,000 cubic yards equate to about six months of refuse buried in the landfill, Briggs noted. 

He said the city “probably” would give up that space at the end of the landfill’s life.

The current lease with the Struckhoff family for the site off Bluff Road ends in 2019. Prior to that, the city would have to negotiate new lease terms or follow a different path for handling residential waste, Briggs said.  

New Study

Council members were updated on the landfill lease and possible options during the executive session, Briggs said. 

The council agreed to award a separate contract to have Aquaterra look at the operational costs of the current landfill and study alternative landfill options, primarily development of a trash transfer station and contracting with another private landfill for disposal of trash, Briggs explained. 

The cost for that separate study is $18,500.