Sangamon County has one landfill -the Sangamon Valley landfill. The landfill is projected to reach maximum capacity in less than 15 years, but there might be a way to change that.
“Based on current volume, we have approximately 13 years of life left,” Republic Services General Manager Daniel Winters said. “Obviously that can change with project work or anything that can impact the daily tonnage.”
A majority of Sangamon County’s trash ends up at the Sangamon Valley Landfill, which was open in March 1982.
Every year the lifespan of the landfill is calculated by subtracting the amount of trash consumed from the amount of space still left.
Officials said residents could help expand the life of the landfill.
“Recycling is extending the life of the landfill,” said Allen Alexander, the director of Sangamon County Environmental Health.
“Less that goes and has more time and more life left for the landfill,” Winters said.
This year, Sangamon County is on track for about 6,000 tons of materials to be recycled.
“That is 6,000 less tons that would’ve went into the landfill that are being processed for recycling,” Winters said.
Officials said that more than half of Sangamon County recycles but there is room for improvement.
“Our residential customers from Sangamon County that we collect waste from – approximately 12,500 – 62 percent of them recycle and that’s a pretty good stat but we could improve that,” Winters said.
Even though officials know that recycling means an additional cost.
“Due to Chinese crackdown on materials coming over from inspections, it has increased the cost of recycling and processing to the point it’s actually at least as much in most places but more than the cost to dispose of it,” Winters said.
Official said that once the landfill has 10 years left in its lifespan, they will begin to consider expanding the landfill or creating a new one.