The final cell of the Struckhoff landfill in Washington opened to the public Saturday. 

According to John Nilges, director of public services, trash is now being accepted at the facility more than a year after the decision to open the cell was made.

The road to access the cell still is not complete, however.

City crews pushed for weeks in January to make final improvements to open the cell. It was expected to be open Jan. 1, but was delayed several weeks due to rain.

City staff began moving forward in January 2018 with plans to open a landfill cell in lieu of a transfer station. The city had for a few years been exploring opening a transfer station and closing the landfill.

The DNR landfill permit on the Struckhoff farm property off of Bluff Road was set to expire last summer. The city had the option to negotiate for another phase at the landfill which could extend its life another seven to eight years.

Nilges previously stated that under the purchase agreement for the Struckhoff property, a landfill must be operated until September 2019.

In January 2018, following the decision to open the new cell, the city increased the tipping, or gate fees, at the landfill $10 from $70 to $80 per ton. In May 2017, the city upped the tipping from $47.50 per ton to $70 per ton. At that time the minimum fees were reduced from $17.50 to $15. The reduction in the minimum fee was to benefit Washington residents who take a “curbside” load to the landfill.

Earlier this year, Nilges projected that by opening the new cell, it would generate $5.4 million in revenue. That would fund the future closure of the landfill, opening of the transfer station, operations and other costs.