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Kandiyohi Co., Minn., landfill expansion under way

Installation of a liner and leachate collection system at the new $1 million cell at the Kandiyohi County landfill is under way this week. Measuring approximately 175 wide and 850 feet long, the large cell will be 100 feet high with garbage when it reaches its maximum capacity, in about three to four years. To provide perspective on the size of the expanse, note that there are six men working near the bottom of the cell. Tribune photo by Carolyn Lange

SPICER -- Construction is under way of a new $1 million cell at the Kandiyohi County landfill in rural Spicer.

This week crews began installing a thick plastic liner on the massive expansion that is 175 feet wide and 850 feet long.

When it is filled with ga-rbage, the cell will be at least 100 feet tall. Based on the current flow of about 35,000 tons of gar-bage that comes to the landfill each year, the new cell will be filled in three or four years, said Jeff Bredberg, director of Environmental Services for Kandiyohi County.

The process to build a new cell involved putting down two feet of compacted clay at the bottom of the cell. The high-density plastic liner, which is 60 mil thick, is laid on top of the clay.

Piping that will collect and transport leachate -- the liquid runoff from the garbage and rain -- will be installed on top of the plastic liner and covered with a foot of washed sand.

Before the end of the year at least 6 feet of garbage needs to be spread over the entire base of the cell, and then topped with a foot of soil, to provide frost protection for the clay, said Bredberg.

"There's still a lot of work to do," he said, adding that the public would be amazed to see the construction process and what the landfill cell looks like before it's filled with garbage.

Seeing the large empty cell next to an existing mountain of buried garbage also provides a stark image.

The cost to build a new landfill cell is not cheap, said Bredberg, adding that if more people recycled more items, the life of the landfill could be extended and fewer tax dollars would be needed to expand the facility.

If nothing changes, Bredberg said the county has enough space to keep burying garbage at the site for another 35 to 42 years.

Bredberg said groups that are interested in touring the landfill and the construction site should contact him at 320-231-6229.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750