Davis landfills report thousands of tons of storm debris

Dec 6 2011 - 7:15am

LAYTON -- The lines to get into the landfills were not as long on Monday as previous days, but the tree trunks, branches, and leaves kept coming at a fast pace.

So much, in fact, that landfill workers had to be creative about where they put all the green waste and how they handled traffic coming in and out of the landf"We're stacking green waste off to the side, anywhere we can," said Nathan Rich, CEO and executive director of Wasatch Integrated Waste Management. "Hopefully over the next four to six months we'll work our way through it."

Thanks to Thursday's devastating windstorm, many Davis County residents spent the weekend cleaning up trees that fell victim to the wind and hauling the unwanted debris to the nearest landfill.

Rich estimated that 1,700 truckloads of waste were delivered to the Davis County landfill on Friday, followed by 2,500 on Saturday and 2,000 on Sunday. The landfill got so busy that workers quit weighing trucks in order to get then in and out at a faster rate.

Still, Rich figures that around 2,800 tons of waste came in during the busy three-day period. More arrived on Monday.

"About 85 percent of what people are bringing in is green waste," Rich said.

Prior to this weekend, which had traffic lined back a mile from the check-in gate to Highway 189, the busiest day in landfill history had 1,800 visits.

The Bountiful landfill was just as busy as vehicles lined up for miles to drop off their loads.

"There have been thousands, too many to count," said Gary Blowers, Bountiful streets and landfill superintendent. "I didn't know Bountiful had so many trucks."

Monday morning, Jack Kite, 59, of Fruit Heights, made his fourth trip to the Davis County landfill since Friday. He backed his truck up to a huge pile of green waste and, despite the cold, raked his cut-down trees into the pile.

"My house is done, now I have to clean up at my mother-in-law's house," Kite said. "She had trees fall on her barn."

His truck was parked next to Ted Crandall's jeep, which pulled a trailer full of debris.

"My neighbor lost two pine trees that fell on their car," said Crandall, 74, of Layton. "I've still got two big pine trees to cut up. It's a mess, but it could have been worse."

Rich and Blowers expect their landfills to continue to receive green waste all week as people continue cleaning up their yards and neighborhoods.

Sgt. Susan Poulsen, public information officer with the Davis County Sheriff's Office, said that 109 members of the Utah National Guard were helping cleanup efforts on Monday while 10 inmates from the Davis County jail were helping at the Davis County landfill.

Bountiful residents can drop off green waste free of charge in the city's landfill while the Davis County landfill is also accepting green waste at no cost.

The Davis County landfill usually charge $5 per truck or $10 per ton, but officials there decided on Friday morning to allow green waste at no cost. Rich estimated that it will cost $200,000 to $300,000 to process all the material brought in since Thursday.

"Being a community-owned landfill, I just felt like it would be appropriate of us with the reserves we have to get this taken care of," Rich said.

Bountiful residents who cannot take their green waste to the landfill can leave it curb side for city trucks to pick up. Blowers said debris to be removed from the curb must be cut to lengths of less than 10 feet.

Residents taking their trash to the landfills should make sure to separate the green waste from other garbage.

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