County expands landfill to help taxpayers financially, environmentally

Expansion will extend landfill's life by 30 years, save $80 million
County expands landfill to help taxpayers financially, environmentally
Dane County landfill

Construction started at the Dane County landfill Monday that county leaders hope helps taxpayers financially and environmentally.

In recent years, while running out of space in the landfill on Highway 12/18 east of the interstate, county officials considered eating up about 200 acres of farmland and about $100 million in taxpayer money.

Instead, they’ve opted to expand the current landfill, extending its life by 30 years and saving $80 million.

“The only alternatives if we didn’t do the expansion here would be to build a new landfill, which would probably be about 200 acres of agriculture land somewhere,” Dane County Solid Waste Manager John Welch said. “Or the other alternatives would be for all of the Dane County waste to be trucked out of the county to another landfill, which would obviously be a huge financial and environmental cost.”

In addition to expanding the landfill, county officials have found new ways to recycle materials into renewable energy.

“It’s saving tax dollars. It’s helping protect the environment. It’s helping us generate more biofuels and renewable energy to generate power to heat our buildings, to drive our cars and to generate electricity,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said.

All the permits are in place, and Welch said the site could be operational later this year.