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Landfill space is limited

October 2, 2006

Albany -- As more people move into Dougherty County, their trash has to go somewhere.

But in about 20 years, the lid may have to be put on the Dougherty County Landfill as space runs out.  

Here's a description you probably thought you would never hear about a landfill. "If you'll observe, this is a pretty clean facility," says Solid Waste Director Mike McCoy.

Clean. Sure there's lots of trash, but you don't actually see that much. "We have to apply six inches of daily cover, every day to one prevent vectors, disease carrying rodents from spreading disease, cuts down on litter," says McCoy. 

Workers have to cover a lot of trash. More than 400 tons are dumped in the municipal solid waste area everyday. Just imagine if that trash weren't here. "Most people would think about us if their waste did not get picked up from their curb," McCoy says.  

The landfill holds all that garbage, and does it in a way that hopefully won't do much damage to the environment. "Our goal out here is to protect human health and the environment, and there are a lot of systems in place to help us do that."

One of which are liners that keep liquids from seeping into the ground. "You've taken your garbage out and you've come back and seen that smelly trail of water, that's leachate, so we get a lot of it out here."

Just like you don't want it in your house, you don't want it in the ground. It's taken from the landfill to a facility for treatment, where it's good as new. "We have a state of the art facility out here and very active operation, and we make sure the citizens of Dougherty County are provided a good service in that human health and environment is protected."

Because when you take out the trash, you don't want to trash the environment.

The landfill currently has a life span of about 20 years. The County could apply for permits with the EPD to expand that to as much as 100 years, building the landfill vertically, rather than laterally.


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