Powell’s contract means lower rates but less landfill life

Powell’s one-year contract with North Big Horn County Landfill means lower rates for Big Horn County towns and residents.The Town of Powell will be bringing an estimated 5,000 tons per year to the North Big Horn County Landfill. The Big Horn County Solid Waste Board was able to lower the tonnage rate from $90 to $78 during the life of the one-year contract. This rate applies to anyone that uses the landfills. The contract runs from Jan. 2013-Jan. 2014.The life of the north end landfill was estimated to be 52.2 years prior to the Powell contract. With the additional 5,000 tons the life is now estimated to be 28.4 years according to landfill Manager Gary Grant. He said that if all garbage from the north, south and Powell were dumped at the north end, the life would go down to 18.5 years.There is no assurance that Powell will extend the contract once it runs out.“My impression is Powell will try to negotiate with Billings, which sounds most cost-effective at this time,” said Grant. Board Member Carl Olson added, “It all depends on what Powell does. If they build a transfer station they can probably haul their trash to Billings way cheap. We can’t compete with Billings on price.”Grant also noted that, “WyDEQ (Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality) wants to see regionalization. I question whether the north (landfill) will be permitted again without lining (or a decision to close) and there probably isn’t enough area or quantity of garbage to make a liner cost effective.”By Barbara Anne Greene