Landfill investing $1.5 million to stop trash from spreading

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Mesa County Landfill staff said they see more than 300 trucks come through their gates every day.

That adds up to a lot of trash that can harm the Colorado River, but officials assure us it won’t because of a new preventative measure to stop that.

Waste managers said the average person in Grand Junction throws away almost seven pounds of trash per day, which is above the national average.

"We want to have as little waste as we can possibly can, as little garbage,” said Lindsey Gnesios, of Grand Junction.

"I decided I might as well do my part and at least recycle,” said Tristan Robertz, another Grand Junction resident.

Managers said waste is growing with 600 tons of trash dumped at the landfills every day.

"Compacting in the way that we do, with the process that we do, we are saving space and were protecting the air, protecting the ground, protecting the birds,” said Jensen.

To help stop the trash from spreading at the landfill, tires, dirt and latex paint are added to the top. Now managers said they are investing in a $1.5 million project to install more plastic and synthetic liners under the trash.

"What this liner is a really thick plastic and it's impermeable, meaning that nothing is going to go through it and it's a just another fail safe to where we can say we know that there’s no groundwater contamination in our facility,” said Jensen.

Fully funded by tipping fees, it’s expensive and takes time. With only 25 years left this landfill is filling up fast.

The landfill takes almost everything you throw away, except for hazardous waste including batteries and electronics.

For now, they plan on laying the new 5-acre liner as early as spring.

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