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Imagine you didn’t have anywhere to take to trash. Where would it all go?
That is a question that will be asked of the Effingham County board at an upcoming meeting to be held in March concerning the production of a solid waste transfer station, to be built about two miles south on Route 185, at the “T” intersection of County Road 1575E.
The project is proposed by Fayette County resident and trash hauler Chris Sutter, of Holiday, owner of Countryside Disposal, LLC. It would be a totally contained transfer station or waste, where trash can be delivered, then put on a semi trailer and taken to one of several southern Illinois facilities.
The reasoning behind the request of Sutter to the county board is that the present landfill in Effingham County, has only about two or three years’ life expectancy before it is filled. The results of this happening is one of two things – either trash service fees will have to be increased, or other landfills at further distances will have to be used, resulting in higher transportation costs.
The Illinois Landfill Disposal Capacity Report, compiled in 2019 by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the governor, confirms this as at the time of the report, it was listed that the Effingham facility had a little more than 4.5 years left before being filled. The next closest facility is the Litchfield-Hillsboro facility, with just more than 14 years life expectancy.
Landfills in Southern Illinois have decades of life left at those facilities.
The proposed transfer station, as stated previously, will be entirely self-contained, and will be a 100X100 foot facility. Trash haulers will enter the facility and unload their trucks on a concrete pad. From there, a semi trailer to be used to haul the accumulated waste would enter the building on a lower level, where the trash would be bull-dozed into the trailer from a higher level.
“This would save on time and man-hours, taking only 10-15 minutes to load in this way,” Sutter said. As the semis leave the facility, scales will be available to ensure the vehicles are under their legal weight. He says the facility will be able to fill up to ten trailers per day.
“The facility will be open to any hauler who wants to bring in a truckload. It will also be open to the public to bring in trailer loads of refuse, instead of purchasing a dumpster. This can be particularly useful for local construction companies as well,” Sutter said.
This project, according to Sutter, has the support of several rural residents, and the three-acre piece of property for the proposed facility was donated by a local farmer. He said there are nine pieces of criteria that must be met by the facility before the Illinois EPA approves it to open.
If the facility is not approved by the Fayette County Board, Sutter says there are two alternatives – a potential new area landfill, however there are neighboring issues with that plan, as landfills must be at least 1,000 feet away from residences, or secondly, haulers must take trash to further locations, resulting in service fee increases.
“Our goal is to get the project approved by the county board and be ready to open by Nov. 1 of this year. The building could take as long as 11 months to construct, so it is in the county board’s hands now,” he said.
The business is expected to create two to three semi driver positions, a scale house operator, and an articulator loader position, amounting to four to five new jobs.