Solid waste district back on the table
October 15, 2020
A solid waste district that spans the whole of Crook County may be back on the table, if Mayor Dick Claar of Moorcroft is successful in his efforts to secure support. Claar attended last week’s meeting of the Sundance City Council to explain the steps he is planning to take.
Claar would like to see all four towns and the county come together to create a solid waste district that would take on the burden of trash collection, using Moorcroft’s landfill as a dumping site. This idea was first discussed several years ago, when the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) began to mandate the closure of unlined landfills across the state, forcing towns to transfer their garbage to regional landfills instead.
However, the idea has been on the backburner since around 2015, when it proved difficult to reach a consensus that each of the county’s entities felt they would benefit from equally.
Since then, Moorcroft council members have several times indicated that the town would like to see discussions resume. Claar explained during last week’s Sundance council meeting that recent events regarding Moorcroft’s landfill have made it necessary to rekindle the conversation.
The DEQ is willing to allow another vertical expansion at the landfill, he said, but with certain conditions regarding a solid waste district.
“They’re going to shut us down unless we come up with a plan,” he said.
To that end, Claar said he is visiting all the towns and the county to inform them of his intent. He asked the council to consider penning a letter of support for the formation of a solid waste district.
With those in hand, Claar said he plans to ask the county commissioners to form the district. Once formed, the district can request up to three mills, which would be proposed on the ballot at an election within the next couple of years.
Time being short during Tuesday’s work session due to a lengthy public hearing, Claar asked to be put on the agenda for next month’s meeting to discuss his plans in more detail. Mayor Paul Brooks agreed to his request.