The Construction and Demolition (C&D) cell at the Northwest Solid Waste facility will be at capacity at the end of 2019. As its name suggests, the 12-acre area receives discarded materials from construction and demolition projects. It was opened in 1991 with an expected 28 year life span.
When the cell reaches capacity in December, the interim plan is to build a temporary ramp on the existing C&D cell where trailers can be loaded for transport. The debris will then be transported to Angelo’s Recycling and Landfill for disposal at their facility. To facilitate the removal, rates will be increased at the Northwest Landfill. A study is currently in process to determine the final rate.
Harper reported to the board that the Northwest Landfill has not had a rate increase in fifteen years.
This interim plan was suggested until the BOCC decides if a new cell or permanent transfer station should be built. Going forward, a new cell would need to be constructed with a liner, per Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as the C&D cell requirements have changed over the years. The alternative is to build a collection and transfer station and have the materials shipped to other recycling centers and landfills.
Harper and staff are leaning toward the Transfer Station option.
The cost to build a new C&D area is approximately $400,000 per acre, or about $2-million for a 5-acre cell. The reduction in space is necessary due to physical constraints. The new cell will come with increased operational costs of dealing with leachate (water) collection and treatment, and increased closure costs due to the added requirements of lined cells.
It would take approximately 1 year to build a new 5-acre cell with a 10-year lifespan.
The estimated cost to haul C&D waste to other facilities is estimated at $300,000-$450,000 per year. These costs are based on each facility’s published rates and varying transportation and container options. The rate for dumping C&D waste would increase from $31 per ton to $46. Other considerations include the availability of facilities willing to accept Hernando county’s C&D waste, as one will be full in seven years.
Competitive bidding could affect pricing and may include options for outside transportation to see if any savings could be realized.
Commissioner Wayne Dukes expressed concern about the ability of other facilities to raise their fees. “I know it’s nice to hold a piece of ground, but at some point, you’re going to pay a lot more to take it somewhere else.” Dukes requested Harper return with costs to make usable areas at the Northwest Landfill for C&D debris, along with the rate analysis.
Commissioner John Allocco said, “Worst case scenario, we just don’t accept C&D.” A short discussion followed how discontinuing the service could result in increased illegal dumping.
The Hernando Sun will cover the presentation of the rate study when it is available.