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Waste Management pitches third landfill expansion to extend life of facility to 2026

43 acres would be added east of site

Nov. 26, 2008

Trash soon could climb higher and stretch farther at the Orchard Ridge Landfill.

For the third time in almost two years, the Menomonee Falls Village Board on Nov. 17 reviewed a request by Waste Management to expand the local facility, N9355 Boundary Road.

A vertical expansion proposing to add 15 feet of height to the 110-foot-tall landfill was requested in 2007, followed shortly thereafter by a request for a 10-acre horizontal expansion to the south.

Decisions are expected to be made on the vertical and horizontal expansions by the end of the year, Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said, whereas the negotiation process is starting for the third request to expand the landfill eastward.

The most recent request calls for adding about 43 acres to the east of the landfill, for an estimated capacity increase of 4.3 million cubic yards and 4 to 6 years of site life.

The other two expansions would increase capacity by 2.4 million cubic yards and two to three years of site life.

All three expansions could extend the landfill’s life to 2026.

“The expansions will meet local needs for safe, environmentally protective disposal of wastes that aren’t recyclable,” Waste Management spokeswoman Lynn Morgan said, adding that it typically takes five to seven years to complete the siting process. “With communities counting on us for safe disposal, we need to develop new landfill capacity well ahead of demand.”

A committee comprised of Menomonee Falls representatives, including Fitzgerald, and representatives from the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee and Waukesha counties likely will form by mid-December to begin negotiations for the third expansion.

Since Germantown is within 1,500 feet of the proposed expansion to the south, the village elected to participate in the siting committee that is negotiating that request. Washington County also was eligible to participate but opted not to participate, Morgan said.

The committee reviewing the vertical request includes representatives from Menomonee Falls and Waukesha County.

Orchard Ridge receives waste mostly from homes, businesses and institutions in Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee and Milwaukee counties.

More than 1 million tons of trash were dumped at Orchard Ridge in 2007, Morgan said.

Without the expansions, Waste Management officials have said the communities that use the facility would have to haul their waste much farther to a landfill in either the city of Franklin or Jefferson County.

When the landfill opened in 1995, it included 75 acres and had an estimated life of 10 to 15 years.

A 75-acre expansion to south in 2004 extended the site’s life to 2017.

Ty Finke can be reached at (262) 446-6621.

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