Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A landfill in our backyard?

Now that the city of Grand Forks is running out of options of how to replace its soon-to-close landfill, the city is starting to look a little closer to home. Efforts to build the new landfill at a more remote location in the country have been met with opposition and now the city appears to be leaning towards locating the landfill within the "extraterritorial" zone. In other words, the new landfill (and all the joys such facilities bring with them) may very well end up being built within a couple of miles from the current city limits.

According to a WDAZ report that aired on Tuesday night, the city is showing interest in locating the landfill just southwest of the city near Merrifield Road. Personally, that immediately shocked me. I can understand why the city may feel that they have to start looking at building the new landfill within their zoning jurisdiction, but I can't for the life of me understand why they would even think of building such a facility in this particular area.

For years, Grand Forks has been growing steadily to the south and a little to the west. Given the high levels of construction and development within the last few years, it seems hard to imagine anything putting a damper on the steady growth in these areas. Siting a landfill just a couple of miles southwest of the city would, in my opinion, be disastrous. Is there anything that would be more likely to discourage development than a landfill???

Personally, I'm starting to think a super-regional landfill of some sort (possibly shared with Fargo) would be the best option for the city, but if the city does come to the conclusion that they have to build a landfill close to the city limits, I would hope that they forget about locating it to the south or southwest of the city. The city shows no signs of growing much farther north so why wouldn't a landfill be built north or northwest of the city instead of south or southwest? Even thinking of building a landfill within a couple of miles of places like Columbia Mall, the Grand Forks Marketplace Mall, King's Walk Golf Course, and the explosive residential growth on the city's south side is crazy.

By the way, I should remind you that even though I am vocally stating that a landfill on the city's north side would make much more sense than a landfill on the south side, I live on the north side. I just realize that a south side landfill would make no sense whatsoever.

So I urge the city, please, if you must look within your zoning jurisdiction, look to the north or northwest. Building a landfill so close to our city's present day economic center and in the path of our city's future growth would be utter madness!

23 comments:

dale said...

Prevailing winds (generally) come from the west-northwest. The best place to put it to avoid the smell would be along the river on the south end, but that's obviously not going to happen for a lot of reasons. Therefore, putting it as far south as possible will reduce the inevitable wind borne stink.

Anonymous said...

GFG, think about it... the major restrictions for siting are coming from the FAA and the air force. The only locations outside of the airport and the GFAFB dead zone, yet still within the city's extra territorial zone is south-southwest of town. That's the reality.

vcsuvike said...

The city can develop things around a landfill in the southwest. Put some trees around that area and develop another industrial area. Take a look at Fargo's landfill zone, tons of manufacturing plants around that area.

The costs of sharing a landfill with Fargo a high, and at this point Fargo doesn't seem to care.

Besides, it would take less time to develop, and it would put more pressure on the state to develop an Interstate exchange for Merrifield road.

Change said...

No matter where our trash goes, whether to another regional landfill or own backyard, we're going to have change our way of thinking about how we dispose of our waste. Much of what we toss out could be recycled.

Anonymous said...

Well, if they put it by Merrifield, thtas stupid! I thought that they had planned on annexing Merrifield inti a Grand Forks suburb, if they want to do with the landfill it will never happen. If we plan on annexing Merrifield and eventually Thompson, well then I suggest putting the landfill somewhere else. I am looking forward ti the growth of our city and am excited about future annexations, and for that, I'm stickin to my opinion.

Anonymous said...

At least the beet plant and simplot will have some competition for the smell in GF. I vote south, as previous poster pointed out, the winds primarily come from the north / northwest

C.Y. said...

I guess I don't understand why they want the landfill so close to GF. Most water flows in a northeasterly direction and if there was a leak . . . . guess where it all goes?

There is land past the AFB that is basically waste or pasture land and if the city is so sure they can't build it there why would they build it so close to town? All they are doing is putting off the problems for a few years.

A landfill is not the answer. They need to take some of the money they are wasting on the mosquito storage area and a few other things and do some serious work on an incinerator. If you build it they will come. Think outside the box.

Today it may seem expensive but tomorrow? ? ? ? ?

webmasterzero said...

No matter where our trash goes, whether to another regional landfill or own backyard, we're going to have change our way of thinking about how we dispose of our waste. Much of what we toss out could be recycled.

I agree. I always wished the city had a facility that would sort for you, as it would give more people the incentive to recycle in the first place. At least that way you could place all recyclable materials in one can or bag, and they would take it away, instead of bringing everything to a recycling dropoff.

I think if the process was easier in general, more people would do it.

I also think relocating the landfill to a location that isn't prone to flooding (western edge of the RRV) would be an acceptable idea. Still not great, but at lest future development wouldn't make the landfill an issue in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say first of all... I love reading this blog. Keep up the great work!

Secondly, this landfill thing... wow! I agree with whoever said it should be out past the air force base. ANYWHERE but the south of Grand Forks...

ben said...

webmasterzero - the city does sort recycling for you. They actually encouraged a couple of years ago just putting your recycleables in one container. I do it, and many others in town do also. The crates the city gave out are obsolete. Just put everything into one large container.

Coffee Guy said...

I agree with c.y., that burning is really the option they should be investigating. I wonder how much/long it would take to convert the UND steam plant to a garbage incineration plant. I'll bet GF could get state & federal funds to pay for a great deal of the costs.

Change said...

"I agree. I always wished the city had a facility that would sort for you, as it would give more people the incentive to recycle in the first place."

We are now able to throw all recyclables together for curbside pickup, but you still have to sort when you take recyclable items to the drop-off locations, such as Hugo's on 32nd.

I wish the city would increase curbside recycling pickup to once a week and reduce garbage pickup to twice a month. It may force us to be less wasteful.

It takes my household weeks to fill our GIGANTIC city-supplied garbage can with non-recyclable waste, and just a few days to stuff crates and trash containers full of recycling items.

Anonymous said...

Is it necessary that the city be involved in the operation of this landfill? Did the group from Gilby approach the city on their own initiative or did the city put out a Request for Proposals.

Why not put out an RFP and see what we get back?

The excuse for extending the zoning jurisdiction was to allow for orderly growth of the city and now it appears that was BS. It looks like the main reason was to give them a free hand in siting a landfill.

This ranks up there with some of the stupidest ideas yet to come from the city.

Lisa said...

If you call the local Waste Management office they will provide you with a large green container (similar to the city-supplied garbage cans) for recycling free of charge. It's much easier than using containers, crates, etc...

Also - I think if you dare to look inside the container at Hugo's on 32nd it's not divided internally. I think it used to be but now doesn't require sorting.

Glass Half Full said...

Waste Mangement should put out a press release or at least offer that big green trash can to someone who calls to schedule recycling pickup... One of my biggest peeves is the containers (of any sort) that are used for recycling because most don't have lids and we have stuff blowing all over on windy days.
I'll be making a call...

pb said...

I just called them and was told they don't provide them here yet. The person I spoke to said that they have some in parts of the Twin Cities and eventually plan on having them in other areas. They said we could use our own containers if we mark them as recycleable.

Glass Half full said...

And continue to have the wind blow the crap around...

Lisa said...

That's interesting - we got one from them last November for our house. We've also gotten the same containers for our business for a monthly pick-up fee.

PartTime said...

I haven't seen it mentioned, maybe I missed it or maybe there is an obvious reason that I'm not seeing, but is buying more land adjacent to the current landfill and making the current landfill bigger not an option?

me said...

It's da boids!

Too man boids spoil da arepat

Anonymous said...

ooba gooba boidy hoidy ho.

Anonymous said...

Our idea is to go North, East to East Grand Forks, or West by the wrecking yards. No brainer. Case closed. Or truck it to Gwinner. greenglass4.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone even thought of discussing this with EGF and Polk County? Given their record, even electrical generation, they seem to be someone I would want to have serious talks with.