The Laurens County Landfill is the first in the state to start a bio-solid composting program. The innovative process keeps fees down for customers and helps the landfill earn money.
Solid Waste Director Michael Snipes says "There's more to this facility then putting trash in the ground and just covering it up with dirt."
Over the last few years the landfill has collected bio-solids, food, yard clippings, and even road kill for its composting project.
"We chose to do this so that we could save space in the landfill and because operationally it just made sense for us. It helped eliminate any potential odor issues we might experience and just extend the life of the landfill," says Snipes.
The project has already expanded the life of the landfill by 4 years. It has also produced close to 20,000 pounds of compost, and that has saved more than $340,000 worth of space. By adding 4 extra years the landfill will have saved $3.5 million in its lifetime.
Recycling Coordinator Ralph Brooks says "Air space is valuable. That's the only commodity we have to sell as a landfill is the space, and once it's gone it is gone."
Plus, the landfill sells the composting material at a discounted rate. "We're selling the material really at a very reduced rate. We're selling it for $5 a ton for finished compost, which is unheard of," says Snipes.
This eco-project has helped the landfill win several awards including international ones. Snipes says they're looking to expand the project even more.