City of Washington

The Washington Planning and Zoning Commission Monday approved a special use permit to operate a transfer station adjacent to the city landfill.

The permit is the next step if the city is to open the waste processing site and close the landfill.

Community and Economic Development Director Sal Maniaci told the commission that zoning codes adopted in March require a special use permit for a transfer station in an M-2 industrial zoned district.

The measure was approved with a 7-0 vote. Commission member Samantha Cerutti Wacker was not at the meeting. The city council must approve the special use permit and meets next Jan. 2.

A transfer station is a processing site for the temporary deposition of waste. Transfer stations are often used as places where local waste collection vehicles will deposit their waste cargo prior to loading into larger vehicles and transported to a landfill.

Options

John Nilges, director of public services, said the city is exploring either opening a transfer station or opening a new “cell” at the current landfill.

He told The Missourian the city has submitted a request to Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to close the landfill. If DNR approves the request, the city is not required to close the landfill.

Ultimately a decision will be made next year with either a new landfill cell or a transfer station opening.

“The goal is to have the next phase in place by fall 2018,” Nilges said.

In May, the city council approved the purchase of 6.72 acres adjacent to the south of the current landfill for a new transfer station. At that time, two ordinances also were approved entering into agreements with SCS Engineers to develop a landfill closure plan, and to design a transfer station.

The Facility

Assistant City Engineer Andrea Lueken explained the transfer station plans call for a three-sided building, about 50 feet tall. It will be a 10,000-square-foot pre-engineered building.

According to the plans, vehicles disposing of waste will enter the building from an entrance on the north side. The waste will be screened from view as it is tipped onto the floor and waste will be loaded onto a transport trailer. The trailer will be located in a 19-foot-deep loading pit, below the floor, on the south side of the building.

“Quite honestly, this seems like a decent use and the best location for a transfer station,” she said.

Commission member John Borgmann asked about a piece of the property proposed in the transfer station plans that is not in the city limits, as well as fire protection plans at the facility.

City officials noted the property would be annexed and fire protection will be addressed on the station site plans.

The 6.72 acres were purchased for the transfer station and another 3 acres were donated. The purchase price is $204,120.

There were three sites considered for a transfer station, including the site adjacent to the landfill, a site near Industrial Drive and West Main Street and a site on the south side of Highway 100 at Vossbrink Drive.

The design fees for the landfill closure plan are $49,900. The cost to design the transfer station, as well as construction management fees, is $145,000.

Landfill

The current landfill permit on the Struckhoff farm property off of Bluff Road expires in less than two years. There is more acreage available to expand the landfill, but that would require new permitting by the state, which would take one year. It would extend the life another five to six years. The city of Washington operates one of the smallest landfills in the state.

However, with the cost of expanding the facility and more stringent state standards, it makes sense to look for an alternative method, according to city officials.

The likely alternative way to dispose of trash is a solid waste transfer station.