LAYTON — How long will Davis County's landfill last?

Nathan Rich, manager of the Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District, said the district's landfill has about 17 years of space left, according to current projections. That means by 2025, it will likely have to be closed.

"It will be open space, walking trails," Rich said of the landfill's ultimate fate.

He said some ballparks are also possibilities there, but the ground there will always have issues with stability and gas.

Rich said federal and state requirements must be followed when closing a landfill, and they are now pretty intensive. For example, closure funds need to be allocated for 30 years of care.

"You have to monitor it and maintain it," he said. It also has to be covered.

He also expects that 30 years of care requirement will increase by even more years in the near future.

"It can be a win-win situation, if you take care of it," he said of open space, trails or ballfields on top of old trash dumps. "No one wants a landfill next door. But it's a necessary evil."

The Davis landfill includes 250 acres of property, 80 acres of which is the actual dumping area.

All of Davis County, except Bountiful, uses the landfill, located in northeast Layton, west of U.S. 89 and north of state Route 193.

Rich said the state's oldest landfills could almost accidentally get built on. That's because poor records or even no records may have been kept on them. They have fewer gas issues than newer ones, though ground stability is always an issue.

He said the Environmental Protection Agency didn't require liners for landfills until 1992. That means that almost all of Utah's closed landfills lack liners, or drainage inhibitors, because they came and went before the age of liners.

Davis County has possible land in a remote area of Box Elder County, where it hopes to ship trash 17 years from now, called the Little Mountain Landfill. Davis County is part of a consortium with Box Elder County, Weber County and Logan, which all combined to create the Utah Regional Landfill Authority.

They want to use Little Mountain (not to be confused with Weber County's separate Little Mountain, located to the south) as a massive landfill site in the future. As population growth has soared in many areas of the Wasatch Front, it is believed to be a good area for such a site.

Located northwest of Corinne, north of state Route 83 and the Bear River Bird Refuge, the landfill is out of sight from the general public. Area landowners are most concerned over increased truck traffic that the landfill would create west of Brigham City. Two-lane roads there could become more hazardous.

The Box Elder County Commission approved selling the land to the Regional Landfill Authority last winter. However, a judge recently ruled the sale should be a matter of public policy. Some 4,400 residents of Box Elder County have signed a petition calling for a referendum vote on the sale, leaving the landfill's future still undecided.


E-mail: lynn@desnews.com