City opens new debris pit
May 14, 2020
It’s been a long time in the works, but Public Works Director Mac Erickson was able to announce last week that the City of Sundance has opened its new construction and debris pit.
Almost 18 months have passed since city engineers Trihydro completed the permit application for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). This was deemed necessary after the council discovered it was costing more than the city would like to haul debris to the Gillette landfill because it was difficult to properly fill the containers.
At that time, in December 2018, Travis Evans of Trihydro predicted that the approved permit from DEQ would not be received until at least the fall of 2019. Meanwhile, DEQ instituted new standards and regulations that meant the documents required an update.
Last week, Erickson announced that the construction and debris pit is now open, with “perfect timing for free landfill days”. He recommended new fees for customer usage to replace the $100 per ton that had been charged while the city was hauling the debris out of town.
Noting that both Sturgis and Moorcroft charge $60 per ton, Erickson suggested $75 per ton given the cost of the permitting process – estimated at $100,000 – and the cost of upkeep for the pit. If a customer brings a mixed load that must be separated out before any of it can be placed in the new pit, however, he felt $100 per ton would be a good price for it.
“We have to screen really well what can and cannot go in there,” he explained, telling the council that DEQ has provided a list of items that can be disposed of in the pit. Municipal landfills around the state have been shut down over the last few years due to leakage, which means the standards for “clean” debris pits are strict to prevent groundwater contamination.
“Basically no garbage,” he said, and in particular no liquids. “We have to be real mindful that we don’t put anything in there that might leech into the groundwater.”