Huntington council hears about extra life at landfill

The Huntington Common Council discussed the future of the Huntington landfill at its meeting on Tuesday, June 12.

Anthony Goodnight, the city’s director of public works and engineering services, estimated that the landfill had nine years of life remaining. Council remarked that that estimate represented a departure from his projection as recently as last September that the landfill had five years of viability left. Goodnight responded that he amended his estimate because a large hauler had stopped bringing its waste to the landfill, thereby lengthening its life.

Goodnight stated that a project to close 25 filled-to-capacity acres of the 56-acre landfill was currently underway. He estimated that that work would be completed by the end of October. The city is paying for that project with the proceeds from a bonds issuance totaling $2.5 million.

“The question becomes,” said Goodnight, “do you wait another five to 10 years before you close the rest of it?

In addition to rising closure costs, Goodnight cited the city’s 30-year obligation – mandated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management – to maintain the landfill after its shuttering as a reason to be thinking about shutting it down in the not-too-distant future.

“So, now if you go nine years out, now you’re at 39 years from now,” he said. “And that’s taxpayer money for the next 39 years that you’re going to have to spend out there.”

In preparation for the eventuality that the city will have to begin paying to have its garbage hauled away, Mayor Brooks Fetters said that he had been in contact with the City of Bluffton and gathered information about how it handles trash pickup. Bluffton, said Fetters, currently contracts with Republic Services for that service.

In other business, council authorized the voluntary annexation of 3.97 acres to the city. Bryn Keplinger, the city’s director of community development and redevelopment, stated that the land, which is located near Safari Trail, is about to be sold and that its current owner petitioned for the annexation so that the new owner would be able to hook into the city’s sewer system upon building a house.