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More people means more trash: Pickles Butte Landfill plans for future growth

Posted at 9:56 PM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-12 02:15:32-04

NAMPA, Idaho — As Canyon County continues to grow, so does the amount of trash residents create. The City of Caldwell recently implemented a mandatory recycling program citing concerns over space at the county landfill. Pickles Butte Solid Waste Director David Loper says they have a plan for future expansion.

  • The current 116-acre footprint at Pickles Butte Landfill can still serve the county for another 7-10 years.
  • The landfill is working on an expansion project that would add 75-100 years of landfill space to the site.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

"We get about 600-1000 vehicle trips a day,” says Pickles Butte Solid Waste Director David Loper.

Pickles Butte landfill is the final resting place for all of Canyon County's trash.

"On an annual basis, we take in about 365,000 tons," says Loper.

Loper says they're nowhere close to being full... and already planning for the future.

"No, we still have a lot of air space left for Canyon County, for the citizens of Canyon County," says Loper.

He tells me the current 116-acre footprint can still serve the county for another 7-10 years. And that they are also working on an expansion project to add another 75-100 years of landfill space to the site.

Caldwell City Leaders told us last week that their new mandatory recycling program was in part to prevent the need for options like shipping trash by train… a situation being seriously considered in Elmore County, where Republic Services tells us the landfill closed in November.

The county there, now having to rely on neighboring communities like Burley to get rid of their trash and soon, shipping their trash by rail to Utah may be the cheapest option.

As for local recycling programs…

"We always like to encourage recycling, reduce, reuse, recycle. Any kind of diversion we can do, recycling we can do is just going to increase the life of the landfill," says Loper.

Loper tells me a lot of technology, environmental science, and engineering goes into properly managing this landfill.

"You know people throw the trash away every day, don't really give it much thought," says Loper.

He says his team works hard to compact your trash and maintain layers of dirt on top to keep dust, smells, and the trash itself in the ground.

"There's just a lot that goes into burying the trash. It's not just a dump. It's a sanitary landfill and it's an asset to the community," says Loper.