State of 208: The future of the Ada County Landfill

How much trash can Ada County handle?
Posted at 10:51 PM, Oct 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 00:51:07-04

Every person who moves into the Treasure Valley means one more bag of trash that needs to be hauled out. But how much trash can Ada County take in before it runs out of room? Just this year, Ada County finally closed the Hidden Hollow land cell that was built back in 1972.

In this edition of State of 208, we wanted to know what the future holds for the landfill. Kurt Hunt, the director of the Ada County landfill, says everything starts with being a good neighbor: "We pride ourselves in having a clean landfill. Keep the litter down, dust down, and do everything we're supposed to do to be a good neighbor."

To do that is a bit of a complicated and scientific process. In their phases -- areas where they pack the trash -- they lay clay, sand, a liner, filter fabric, sand and then the trash is covered, and the area re-vegetated. It's like it was never there. Each phase is good for five years, and right now -- believe it or not -- the landfill is expected to last 79 years.

Diversion programs, like recycling and composting, help. Hunts says, "If we didn't have the programs, we would definitely see an increase in landfill usage." 

So as fast as we fill up our trash cans, it seems they will be talking trash at the landfill for a long time to come.