- Associated Press - Monday, November 28, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Neb. (AP) - Sarpy County’s 160-acre landfill is slated to finally shut down after past closure dates have come and gone.

The Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2fIunKF ) reports that the landfill opened in the fall of 1990 and outlasted its initial 18-year projected lifespan. The site is expected to close in the fall of 2017 by being capped with dirt and grass.

The landfill has been the source of odor that caused complaints from residents as far as 5 miles away. Residents also complained about trash being blown away from the landfill.

“You used to be able to do more stuff outside. But with the smell, you have to pick and choose when you can be out there,” said Barb Mills, whose family has been farming land near the landfill since 1908.

The county’s trash will be trucked about 60 miles west to Waste Connections Inc.’s landfill in David City that isn’t projected to fill up for as many as 149 years. A transfer station has been built so local residents can bring their trash and have it trucked to David City.

Some people are concerned about the environmental impact of the decision. Ruth Richter of the environmental group Green Bellevue is encouraging residents to recycle more trash to lighten the loads of trucks hauling the trash so far away.

Others are concerned about increased traffic and the ability of local trash haulers to compete with larger trash companies.

Still, many neighbors welcome the closure. Mills and other local residents fought the original landfill and complained for years about the smell and blowing trash. The city of Springfield even passed an ordinance to try to stop the original project.

“It’s time,” said Scott Bovick, deputy county administrator. “The surrounding communities are ready for it to be closed.”

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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