After years of deficits, South Canyon Landfill could see a profit in 2020 |

After years of deficits, South Canyon Landfill could see a profit in 2020

A pile of finished compost sits at the South Canyon Landfill.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

For the first time in years, the South Canyon Landfill might produce a profit.

According to next year’s proposed budget, instead of incurring an approximately $800,000 to $1 million deficit, the landfill will turn a profit projected at nearly $80,000.

That number also includes the landfill’s ongoing composting operation, which a 2018 study conducted by Blue Ridge Services, Inc. recommended discontinuing due to the “excess cost associated with it.”

According to Blue Ridge Services’ study, in 2017 the city lost nearly $330,000 on its composting operation alone at the South Canyon Landfill.

“The city paid the contractor $386,228 to produce compost – and only generated $56,920 in revenue… for an annual loss of $329,308,” the report stated.

“We are really stepping up our composting,” Matthew Langhorst, Glenwood Springs public works director, said. “We sold a lot of compost this year.”

According to South Canyon Landfill Superintendent King Lloyd, the landfill currently has roughly 2,000 cubic yards of compost available for purchase. 

“We also have about 4,000 cubic yards of what I would call ‘raw compost,’ that is in the process of curing out,” Lloyd said. 

The city will add a full-time composting employee to the landfill’s staff in 2020, too.

Previously, the city had paid Heartland Environmental Services, LLC $1.98 million a year to manage the landfill. However, that contract expired earlier this year after Glenwood Springs City Council elected not to renew it.

Heartland Environmental Services, LLC was brought on in 2009 after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment discovered compliance issues while conducting routine inspections at the South Canyon Landfill. 

“There was an overfill of trash in a particular area of the landfill,” Lloyd said of those compliance issues prior to 2009. “We’re permitted to only have trash to a certain elevation at this time and they had exceeded that elevation by about 70 feet. …And, there were some drainage issues.”

Lloyd said that the South Canyon Landfill was now “totally” in compliance.  

Additionally, the city will reinvest the landfill’s profits back into the landfill and South Canyon in general. 

“Part of the money that we’ll be making this year will be for improving our compost operation,” Lloyd said. 

According to Lloyd, the South Canyon landfill collects between 110 and 120 tons of trash daily.

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