Hurdles not stopping landfill capping project

By Sarah Pridgeon

A snag has led to an unanticipated cost of $82,057 for the landfill closure after several unexpected pockets of waste were uncovered during the dirt work portion of the project. Fortunately, according to Ken Schrader of Trihydro, an account had been set aside containing $100,000 of the project’s funding for exactly such a scenario.

Schrader reported to the Sundance City Council last week that the contractors are close to finishing the last of the dirt work and will soon begin working with the synthetic cover materials. However, he said, there were some issues in getting to this point.

Some of the waste from the demolition of the old Central Office building was sitting higher than the fill grade, Schrader said, so it had to be cut down and relocated within the waste footprint. Meanwhile, the first of two borrow areas ended up having quite a bit of waste buried inside it that had to be separated out and random pockets of waste were uncovered in the second borrow area, which also had to be relocated.

(Jeff Moberg photo) Contractors work on a portion of the landfill project on Tuesday.
(Jeff Moberg photo) Contractors work on a portion of the landfill project on Tuesday.

A review with the Department of Environmental Quality and the city reached the consensus that these were indeed unanticipated issues.

According to Schrader, the DEQ noted that the projects completed so far around the state have shown this to be a common problem with older landfills where there are few or no records available of early usage. More pockets of waste may yet be encountered but Trihydro does not anticipate too much and believes it will certainly be less than what has been found so far.

The contractor still has plenty of borrow material to complete the soil cover, he added, so Trihydro is not anticipating any major issues there. With the subgrade almost done, the liner installer was briefly delayed on another project but is expected this week, so the schedule has not been affected and Schrader expects that most work will have been wrapped up by mid-August.