New Technology Makes More Space at Area Landfill

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It's time to talk trash, as tons of landfills across the nation inch closer to capacity.

"Most people really don't know what happens to their trash once it's picked up the at the curb and it goes away," Samantha Best, Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency Landfill Superintendent, said. "Most people really don't care. I can tell you, it's our job to care about it."

Officials say the landfill on Rock Prairie will reach its maximum limit within the next four years.

"The name of the game with landfill management is compaction," Best said. "We really only have one thing to offer and that's air space, and it's our job to maximize the usage of that airspace to make sure we can meet the demands of the community."

In addition to using heavy weight machinery, local officials are also making the most of the space they have by using some of the latest technology.

"We've gone high-tech here, we utilize GPS technology or a computer-aided earth moving system," Best said. "It essentially makes our equipment real time surveyors, and it takes the guess work out of thinking you've done a good job compacting, to knowing you've done a good job compacting."

Operators have computer monitors in their equipment that tell them where they need to go to for better compaction.

However, after 20 years of operation, more than half those years servicing nearly 19 counties, free space is dwindling. Plans are currently underway for a new landfill site.

"The new site in Grimes County is 610 acres in size, and 205 disposal footprint," Best said. "What's really interesting about this site is it's much larger and it was designed that way essentially, to give a bigger buffer between the landfill and the projected growth that is going to be seen in the area."

Officials hope to start construction on the new landfill within the next year.

However, officials say people can do their part to help conserve space at the landfill by repairing, reusing, and recycling their belongings.