WARNER ROBINS -- Houston County has started the process to permit new landfill space for the first time since the landfill opened in 1987.
The county is seeking to permit an additional 331 acres on the site for landfill use, according to a document filed March 2 with the Department of Community Affairs. The document starts the Developments of Regional Impact process that allows review of projects that potentially impact a multi-county area.
Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said the county has been using the 200 acres originally permitted when the landfill opened. It still has about another 12 years on that section, but he said the county wanted to go ahead and get the permitting process started.
Its a long process before you get approval, he said.
The document states the expansion would cost $45 million, however that would happen over decades. The county has expanded the landfill in phases since it opened, and approval of the new permit would allow space for additional phases.
The landfill is a self-sufficient operation with operating and construction costs paid for by a per-ton fee paid by all trucks bringing garbage into the landfill.
Methane from the landfill is piped to generators that produce 3.2 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 1,000 homes. Flint Energies pays the county about $500,000 annually for the electricity.
The landfill is located on 2,600 acres off Ga. 247 in south Houston County. Stalnaker said the expansion will provide all of the space needed for the next 60 to 70 years.
The entrance to the landfill looks like that of a country club. It has won awards and has routinely gotten excellent inspection scores from the Environmental Protection Division.
In addition to handling trash from Houston County homes, it also takes garbage from Bleckley, Pulaski and Dooly counties, as well as the cities of Warner Robins, Perry, Cochran and Hawkinsville.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.