SUPERIOR, WI — The Superior Landfill brings in 500 tons of garbage per day, causing for limited space on the 40-acre stretch of land.
That means officials will soon have to decide on a new place to put it, which could cost the taxpayers money.
“[The garbage] actually goes down about 20 or 30 feet,” Landfill Manager Darianne Macnamera said. “It’s just amazing the volume of garbage that comes into this site.”
The landfill serves Duluth, all of Carlton County, some of Douglas County, and most of the North Shore.
“The landfill is authorized to take a certain amount of waste, and that was the approved plan when the landfill was first established, and we’re kind of approaching that cap right now,” Macnamera said.
Expecting to reach full capacity by 2024, officials plan to shut down the site by 2025.
“The city does own a lot of the property around the landfill, so we did consider expanding, but the issue is that there’s a lot of valuable wetlands around the property and we’re really close to Lake Superior,” Macnamera said.
As for where that garbage will go after it closes, officials say they’re uncertain at this time.
“We don’t know yet,” Macnamera said. “We’ve been in discussions with the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District about that because we do know that the closing date is coming up.”
Together, aiming to make the transition as easy as possible on the taxpayer.
“One of the priorities for the city is to make sure that when that switch happens — when our site closes and our waste goes somewhere else — that they’re not hit with a big price increase,” Macnamera said.
Officials say the 2025 closing date could change.
“The closer we get, the more we’ll know when that’s going to happen,” Macnamera said.
Whenever they do close, though, officials say they’ll look to relocate the garbage to an existing landfill, rather than building a new one.
In the meantime, operations will go as they have since the 1980’s, when the site was first established.