BEATRICE – One of the major projects affecting Beatrice residents is likely to get underway in 2024…the construction of a new solid waste landfill, southwest of the city.

"It's one of those entities out there that nobody ever thinks about...nobody gives much thought to. I mean, I put my trash out this morning, and when I come home at noon it'll be gone....and that's about the last time I'll think about trash....for most people."  Beatrice City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says the planning toward replacement of the current landfill is something that takes several years, with engineering services and licensing approval from the State of Nebraska.

The new project is drawing closer to the start of construction, he says. "One of the things we're doing on this particular design is, could we go lower in the cell...excavate more dirt and add more air space. So, we've been making sure we've gotten that approval from the State of Nebraska. I look for the design to probably be finished up sometime in the early part of 2024...look for bids sometime in that late summer, early fall period of 2024...and we're hoping to have a cell open in 2025."

While the current facility is west of Sumner Street and north of a highway spur…Locust Road….Tempelmeyer says the new facility will be south of the spur….adjacent to a construction and demolition waste site. "This site, we look to serve the city and surrounding area probably for about 70 years, give or take a few, either way. Obviously you don't want to dig that big of a hole all at one time, because if you dig a giant hole and it rains, it fills up with water. You do try to make it in cells...a five to ten year cell...and you keep going through those."

The useful life of the current landfill extends through 2025. Using a large compacting machine and alternate cover material have been steps taken that have extended the life of that facility.

Monday night, the Beatrice City Council will consider an agreement with a Gage County village that would become a new customer of the Beatrice Area Solid Waste Agency Landfill.  "We've been talking to the village of Odell. They reached out to us about having another hauler come down and present them a quote, or a bid...and we did that. What it does, is it allows us to pick up more rural customers in that area, as well. We were but a couple of miles away from there, so it made sense to hop over and pick up another hundred customers, or so", Tempelmeyer said.

Midwest Area Refuse Solutions, or MARS…operating through the City of Beatrice, provides garbage hauling service for City of Beatrice residential and commercial customers, as well as several smaller communities and rural customers in the region.  Most of the communities and rural customers are north and west of Beatrice.