Less than two years capacity left in city landfill, report says
City officials learned this week that there is less than two years of life left at the City of Cairo landfill for garbage and trash, however the cell for construction and demolition materials has a projected life of 21 years.
Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton described the report as “shocking” and told the city council, “I think we are doing the right thing by outsourcing our garbage and trash collection.”
The city is in the final stages of contract negotiations with Taylor Waste Services of Grady County for the privatization of solid waste collection. Officials anticipate transitioning to Taylor Waste on Sept. 1.
The life expectancy of the landfill is based on analysis conducted by consulting engineer Jim York of York & Associates Engineering. York submitted his landfill capacity report to Addleton last week. According to the city manager, the cell for garbage and trash will reach capacity in 1.35 years based on current data.
City officials had said in March of this year the landfill capacity would be reached in three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years.
Addleton had also previously stated that Chris Taylor, owner of Taylor Waste, could negotiate more favorable pricing on tipping fees with landfills in Thomas and Decatur counties than the city could.
During the contract negotiations, city officials have acknowledged the monthly fee citizens pay for garbage and trash pickup will likely rise once the city’s landfill is closed and the solid waste has to be transported to an out-of-town landfill.
However, Addleton has projected that the city will save $300,000 annually by outsourcing the solid waste collection to Taylor Waste.
The prospect of the landfill closing in less than two years also has a significant impact on Grady County’s solid waste collection program.
County commissioners have recently shuttered three of the county’s 42 dumpster sites as part of a pilot program that could result in a major consolidation of dumpster locations. Due to budget constraints, commissioners have not been aggressive in budgeting for additional closures and consolidation. The added expense of having to transport the county’s solid waste to either Thomas or Decatur counties will also have to be addressed.
The county commission has not done any detailed planning or study for the future of solid waste, but in June Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar suggested the county should consider constructing its own sanitary landfill.
County commissioners have not publicly discussed Tobar’s suggestion since it was made during a meeting last month.