The north half of Utah Valley wants to join the South Utah Valley Solid Waste District, which operates the Bayview Landfill on the west side of Utah Lake near Elberta.
Mayors of eight north valley cities and a commissioner representing the unincorporated county area on Monday night voted unanimously as the Utah County Solid Waste Special Services District to approach the Utah County Board of Adjustment for permission to join the South Utah Valley Solid Waste District.The Utah County Solid Waste District includes Alpine, American Fork, Cedar Hills, Highland, Lehi, Lindon, Orem, Pleasant Grove and the unincorporated county.
Tuesday night the Board of Adjustment approved the cities' request with the stipulation that trucks hauling garbage to the landfill bypass Lehi.
The Utah County Solid Waste District will now seek permission to join the South Utah Valley Solid Waste District from its board of directors.
The South Utah Valley board is comprised of mayors of the six cities currently in the district: Provo, SpanishFork, Springville, Salem, Mapleton and Goshen.
"We see an agreement as a necessary step but not an obstacle," said Ott Dameron, Orem's public works director. The process should take about a month.
Estimated cost of joining the district is $1.75 million, about half the "up-front capital costs" for building Bayview Landfill, Dameron said. It will cost an additional $3.05 million to build a transfer station to compact garbage and to close the Lindon landfill now used by the Utah County Solid Waste Special Services District.
The state-of-the-art Bayview Landfill opened at the end of January. It was originally built to handle waste from all cities in the county for up to 50 years.
The Lindon landfill will be at capacity in one-and-a-half to two years, Dameron said. It also does not meet new Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
The north Utah County district investigated building a new landfill at a site in Cedar Valley. However, the site has numerous problems and the cost of building a new landfill, closing the Lindon landfill and building a transfer station - $10 million - is prohibitive, Dameron said.
"It (cost) was a major factor in the decision," he said.
In anticipation of the costs of joining the district, the Utah County Solid Waste District voted Monday night to increase tipping fees at the Lindon landfill from $17.50 to $25 effective July 1.
Provided the northern cities are given the go-ahead to join the South Utah Valley district, it will take approximately one year to build a transfer station to handle garbage headed for Bayview. The transfer station, which would be located in Lindon near the landfill, will include a materials recovery center for sorting recyclable material from garbage as well as a composting station.