Lane County is building an addition to its Short Mountain Landfill south of Eugene. The $4.3 million project will increase capacity and improve the site's wastewater capturing system.
Lane County Waste Manager Dan Hurley says workers are putting multiple layers of plastic, gravel and clay over a nine acre area adjoining the existing 16 acre site. The liner protects the groundwater from leachate. That's what Hurley calls the sort of garbage tea that's produced when rain percolates through the landfill.
Hurley: "There's also liquid in the waste, so as it decomposes, even without that rainfall we get that wastewater. Definitely in our wet climate here we get about 20 million gallons that we have to transport and treat."
Hurley says the leachate gets stored in tanks and eventually taken to the county's wastewater treatment plant.
The new section will be ready to receive refuse next year. It should allow the landfill to operate for another 10 years. Hurley says the amount of waste that goes to Short Mountain fluctuates with the economy. When times are better, there's more trash.