With less than 10 years of landfill space remaining at Dane County's Rodefeld Landfill, our community has an opportunity to plan for our changing waste stream and purposefully set the foundation to advance us towards a circular economy.
Our vision for the next site includes development of a sustainable business park or “Sustainability Campus” to divert waste and create local circular economies. This will be accomplished by attracting reuse, repair, and recycling businesses; new waste management technologies; and research. The intent is to design the site for safe public access, education, and recreation where visitors can examine their relationship with waste and the Dane County community can move towards a future where waste is not a liability, but a resource and an opportunity.
The City of Madison and Dane County have formally agreed to take the next steps toward utilizing a portion of the Yahara Hill property for this project and will be selecting a consultant for the comprehensive planning of the Sustainability Campus by the end of 2022. Explore the tabs below to learn more about this exciting project:
Our project accommodates and considers for continued golf at the Yahara site and has the potential to offer additional recreational opportunities for the community. We will strive to maintain, diversify and even enhance the recreational experience at the site through maintenance of existing trees and restoration of natural habitat.
Utilization of surrounding greenspace for recreation and education will be a focus of our master planning efforts and Dane County intends to maintain recreation before, during, and after operating at the Yahara site. Dane County Parks Division will also be incorporating the current Rodefeld landfill and surrounding lands into their next Parks and Open Space Plan. Upon the closure of the Rodefeld site, up to 150 acres of land will be available for recreation which will serve our community until the Yahara site is ultimately returned to open space.
Additional recreational opportunities at the Yahara or Rodefeld site could include trails for hiking, biking, cross country skiing and space for activities such as disc golf. Our vision for a multi-use recreational site would allow more people than ever before to enjoy the space in a variety of ways.
Designating space for reuse and resale activities at the Sustainability Campus will increase diversion of high value and usable materials from the landfill waste stream. Co-location of a reuse store or mall would provide business owners with access to free or low cost materials. Surrounding green space can also be designed for community flea markets and workshop space could be included for repair and classes. This location along Hwy 12/18 and Interstate 90 has high visibility and easy access for potential donors and customers. Retail space would create a functional transition and buffer from the more industrial operations of the landfill to the recreational uses of the golf course and Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison Casino.
The Department of Waste & Renewables recognizes that our waste is a resource and that with investment in our community, local businesses, and technology we can help create jobs and reclaim commodities that can benefit our local economy. Through an innovative, public-private partnership, we already offer construction & demolition recycling services where metal, wood, cardboard, vinyl siding, aggregate, and other items are processed into marketable materials (wood chips, animal bedding etc.) or sold as commodities. This existing public private partnership serves as a potential model for additional opportunities of this scale. For example, we have identified mattress recycling as a feasible and realistic business opportunity at the Sustainability Campus. Not only do bulky mattresses deplete landfill space, but from a business perspective this is lost potential revenue. We look forward to salvaging this lost revenue and committing resources to advancing mattress recycling in our region.
Organics Composting: Our vision is to establish a composting facility at the Sustainability Campus. Such a facility will aid in securing and quantifying a steady stream of feedstock of organic material, making it the first step towards designing and building a digester facility. Additionally, composting is necessary for management of digestate in digester operations, mitigates greenhouse gas emissions, and produces a nutrient rich soil amendment that can be used on Dane County farmlands and gardens to increase soil health. A composting program for food waste can be achieved with relatively small capital investment and far less risk than digestion while achieving many of the same environmental benefits. Implementation of a successful food waste composting program will be a significant advancement in our food waste management system.
Organics Digestion: The City of Madison and Dane County have both investigated the feasibility of constructing an anaerobic digester for processing food waste and other organic material. Dane County has experience with digesters, landfill biogas, and Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) operations, including the technical expertise, ability, and interest to own and operate a digester, if it is financially viable. Based on Dane County’s experience operating an RNG Plant and knowledge of the RNG markets, it appears that organics digestion could become financially viable at a regional scale, but it will require significant capital investment and sufficient feedstock volumes. Dane County would be able to leverage its extensive industry relationships to further support our region by evaluating the feasibility of digestion.
We are excited to share more about our project plans with the community and will be shaing opportunites for engagement throughout the course of the project. See below for information on upcoming events:
Various Dates & Times. Dane County Landfill Tour (In Person): Join us on one of our monthly tours to learn more about our current work and vision for meeting Dane County's future waste management needs. Registration.
03.17.2022. Permitting Timeline
03.17.2022. Project Timeline
12.15.2022 Master Planning Efforts to Begin For Dane County's Sustainability Campus
11.22.2022 November Newsletter Update on Dane County Sustainability Campus & Landfill Project
04.20.2022. Dane County Launches $10,000 Organics Management Grant This Earth Month
12.01.2021: Public Works and Transportation Committee to Hold Informational Meeting on Dane County Waste & Renewable's Sustainability Campus
11.03.2021: Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison Supports Dane County Community’s Move to Sustainability Campus for Waste Management
05.19.2022. Dane Co. Board approves purchase of land from Madison for proposed landfill, sustainability campus
5.11.2022. Madison Common Council votes to sell portion of Yahara Hills Golf Course to Dane Co.
04.28.2022. Early approval processes for a proposed county landfill kick off
03.16.2022. Dane County shares early vision for future landfill site near McFarland, Cottage Grove
03.03.2022. McFarland will host an informational session on a future Dane County landfill next week
12.07.2021. Yahara Hills a likely site for future landfill
11.03.2021. Dane Co. landfill eyes golf course as it runs out of space
11.01.2021. Watch now: City, county eye Yahara Hills Golf Course for future landfill, with focus on reuse
11.01.2021. Dane County Waste Management wants to purchase a portion of Yahara Hills Golf Course for new landfill
04.21.2022. Public Outreach Meeting Presentation Slides
04.21.2022. Public Outreach Meeting Recording
03.10.2022. McFarland Public Informational Meeting: Poster Displays
12.7.2021. Recording of Dane County Public Works & Transportation Committee Special Session - Public Informational Meeting on Waste & Renewables Sustainability Campus.
11.3.2021: Presentation to City of Madison's Board of Park Commissioners
10.21.2021: Dane County Waste & Renewables Budget Overview to Public Works Committee
05.24.2021: Presentation to Dane County Public Works Subcommittee
10.26.2020: Presentation to City of Madison Sustainable Madison Committee
07.21.2020: City of Madison Golf Task Force Report
03.02.2023. 7:00 pm. Dane County Board Meeting- Anticipated Agenda Item On Award of Contract for Sustainability Campus Development Assistance at Yahara Hills. Meeting Details.
02.20.2023. 5:30 pm. Personnel & Finance Committee Meeting- Anticipated Agenda Item On Award of Contract for Sustainability Campus Development Assistance at Yahara Hills. Meeting Details.
01.03.2023. 5:30 pm. Public Works & Transportation Committee Meeting- Agenda Item On Award of Contract for Sustainability Campus Development Assistance at Yahara Hills. Meeting Details.
12.15.2022. 7:00 pm. Dane County Board Meeting- Agenda Item On Award of Contract for Sustainability Campus Development Assistance at Yahara Hills. Meeting Details.
12.13.2022. 8:30 am. Sustain Dane Sustainable Breakfast Series: Food Scraps Year in Review & Future Opportunities- Learn more about future opportunites to divert food scraps at the Dane County Sustainability Campus and other local food scraps diversion efforts. Event Info.
11.17.2022. 7:00 pm. Dane County Board Meeting- Agenda Item On Award of Contract for Engineering Design and Permitting Services for the Proposed Dane County Landfill site at Yahara Hills. Meeting Agenda.
11.04.2022. 7:45am-3pm. Sustain Dane Summit- Come visit the Waste & Renewables Exhibit at this event to learn more about the Sustainability Campus.
10.11.2022. 6:30 pm. City of Madison Common Council Meeting- Agenda Item On Rezoning & Subdivision Applications for a portion of Yahara Hills for Sustainability Campus & Landfill. Meeting Minutes.
10.03.2022. 5:30 pm. City of Madison Plan Commission Meeting- Agenda Item On Rezoning & Subdivision Applications for a portion of Yahara Hills for Sustainability Campus & Landfill. Meeting Minutes.
08.20.2022. 11:30-3:30 PM. Waste & Renewables Open House: A Community Celebration Towards Waste As A Resource (In Person): Thanks for helping us celebrate our community’s journey towards utilizing waste as a resource!
05.19.2022. 7:00 pm. Dane County County Board Meeting (Virtual)- Agenda Item On Authorizing the Purchase of Land for County Landfill & Sustainability Campus from the City of Madison. More Information.
05.10.2022. 6:30 pm. City of Madison Common Council Meeting (Virtual): Agenda Items On City-County Agreements Pertaining to land sale and development of a portion of Yahara Hills for Sustainability Campus & Landfill, and entering into a new Solid Waste Agreement and Amending the Yahara Hills Neighborhood Development Plan. More Information.
05.09.2022. 5:30 pm. Dane County Personnel & Finance Committee Meeting (Virtual): Agenda Item On Authorizing the Purchase of Land for County Landfill & Sustainability Campus from the City of Madison. More Information.
04.25.2022. 5:30 pm. City of Madison Plan Commission Meeting (Virtual)- Agenda Item On Amending the Yahara Hills Neighborhood Development Plan, to provide updated recommendations for the area located on the eastern portion of the Yahara Hills Golf Course. More Information.
04.25.2022. 4:30 pm. City of Madison Finance Commitee Meeting (Virtual): Agenda Item On City-County Agreements Pertaining to land sale and development of a portion of Yahara Hills for Sustainability Campus & Landfill, and entering into a new Solid Waste Agreement. More Information.
04.21.2022. 6:30 pm. Dane County Department of Waste & Renewables, City Staff and Elected Officials Public Outreach Meeting (In Person & Virtual): - Waste & Renewables Sustainability Campus. Presentation Slides. Audio Recording.
04.18.2022. 5:00 pm. City of Madison Transportation Policy and Planning Board (Virtual)- Agenda Item On City-County Agreements Pertaining to land sale and development of a portion of Yahara Hills for Sustainability Campus & Landfill, and entering into a new Solid Waste Agreement Meeting Details.
04.13.2022. 6:30 pm. City of Madison Board of Park Commissoners (Virtual)- Agenda Item On City-County Agreements Pertaining to land sale and development of a portion of Yahara Hills for Sustainability Campus & Landfill, and entering into a new Solid Waste Agreement Meeting Details.
04.12.2022. 5:30 pm. Dane County Public Works & Transportation Committee Meeting (Virtual): Agenda Item On Authorizing the Purchase of Land for County Landfill & Sustainability Campus from the City of Madison. Meeting Details.
04.06.2022. 4:30 pm. City of Madison Board of Public Works Meeting (Virtual)- Agenda Item On City-County Agreements Pertaining to land sale and development of a portion of Yahara Hills for Sustainability Campus & Landfill, and entering into a new Solid Waste Agreement Meeting Details.
03.19.2022. 11:00 am. Dane County Landfill Tour (In Person): Join us on this special tour to learn more about our current work and vision for meeting Dane County's future waste management needs. Registration.
03.17.2022. 6:00 pm. Yahara Hill Neighborhood Development Plan Amendment- Neighborhood Meeting (In person & Virtual): Join the City of Madison and Dane County to review the proposed ammendment to the neighborhood plan to accomodate for the proposed Sustainability Campus. Watch Recording.
03.10.2022. 6.00pm. Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) Public Hearing (Virtual): Topic: Amendment of the Dane County Water Quality Plan by Revising the Sewer Service Area Boundary and Environmental Corridors in the Central Urban Service Area (City of Madison / Yahara Hills Neighborhood). Watch Recording.
03.10.2022. 5:30 pm. Dane County Department of Waste & Renewables and the Village of McFarland (In Person & Virtual): Public Informational Meeting on Waste & Renewables Sustainability Campus. Watch Recording. Poster Displays.
12.16.2021. 3:30 pm. Dane County Landfill Tour (In Person): Join us on this special tour to learn more about our current work and vision for meeting Dane County's future waste management needs. Registration.
12.7.2021. 5:30 pm. Dane County Public Works & Transportation Committee Special Session. Virtual (Zoom):Public Informational Meeting on Waste & Renewables Sustainability Campus. Watch Recording.
11.03.2021. 6:30 pm. City of Madison Board of Park Commissioners Meeting. Virtual (Zoom): Dane County Department of Waste & Renewables Informational Presentation Regarding Possible Future Use of Portion of Yahara Hills Golf Course for Proposed Yahara Sustainability Campus. Meeting Minutes
10.12.2021. 5:30 pm. Dane County Public Works Meeting (Virtual): Agenda Item on Department ofWaste & Renewables Budget Overview Meeting Minues.
05.24.2021. 12:00 pm. County Public Works Sustainability Subcommittee Meeting (Virtual): Agenda Item on Department of Waste & Renewables Presentations: Innovation Campus & Trash Lab. Meeting Minues.
03.18.2021. 7:00 pm. Waste as a Resource Informational Presentation to County Board Waste as a Resource Informational Presentation to County Board (Virtual): Announcement of project to County Board Meeting Minues.
10.26.2020. 4:30 pm. City of Madison Sustainable Madison Committee Meeting (Virtual): Soft announcement of project during SWAC presentation. Meeting Minutes.
FAQs will be updated as new questions arise. Last updated 11.30.2022.
What type of recycling activities would occur in the Sustainability Campus?
Some examples of opportunities that we think are economically viable today include programs for reuse and resale of usable materials, mattress recycling, and composting of food waste. In the future we hope to be able to move towards organics digestion, attract business that can upcycle plastics and other materials, and develop technologies for emerging waste streams like batteries and solar panels. Slides 5 though 14 from a recent presentation illustrate in more detail what we hope to achieve with the Campus.
How will this project impact the surrounding neighbors?
With the proposed Campus’s proximity to our existing facility, we will continue to share many of the same neighbors. We also realize this plan will bring the future landfill approximately ½ mile closer to some residents. For over 35 years, we have worked hard to be the best neighbors possible, listening to concerns and making adjustments to our operations when possible. This is a responsibility that we take seriously, and we will continue to do everything possible to limit our impacts. We have heard recent requests for additional ways to provide feedback and have created a feedback section on our webpage here, under our Contact Us page.
There are also regulatory and contractual requirements that will be developed for this site to help reduce and mitigate the potential impacts. Site design and operations are regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the landfill permitting process includes a local negotiated agreement process with the surrounding communities to determine key elements of the project. For example the current local agreement for the existing Rodefeld site restricts truck traffic to certain routes, limits operating hours, and even includes long term plans for the site to remain as a nature conservancy. For more information about the details and timing of the local negotiated agreement process click here.
Additional detail about other potential concerns is included in later responses.
What are the opportunities for public input?
Public input is key to the success of this project and we look forward to engaging with the community about what the future of waste management looks like for Dane County. There will be many opportunities for public input during the planning process, and Dane County will consider all of that feedback as we work to design and develop this site.
The County will host or attend informational sessions as needed through the course of planning for the project. A project timeline with opportunities for community input can be found here. The local negotiated agreement process is an opportunity for potentially impacted neighbors to directly communicate with the Department of Waste & Renewables about their concerns. This process will occur with the landfill permitting process and is further detailed here. We also expect this project will go before several County and City committee meetings during the approval process. More information on upcoming meetings will be posted in the “Upcoming Events” section on the project web page.
In addition, we have heard recent requests for additional ways to provide comments and concerns and have created a feedback section on our webpage here, under our Contact Us webpage.
How and when will access to the site be determined?
Vehicle access to the site will be determined after a traffic study and review of setbacks and requirements. The primary objectives will be to maintain safety and minimize impacts to neighboring communities. Preliminary access points are currently being considered and will be presented in the spring of 2022. Access points and traffic plans will need to be approved through the City of Madison’s land use process and by the Dane County Public Works & Transportation Committee.
Determining traffic routes are typically a part of a local negotiated agreement with nearby municipalities and we anticipate that the primary truck route will be from US Hwy 12/18. This will minimize impacts to traffic on town and county roadways such as Sigglekow Road and Cty Hwy and AB. The local negotiated process would occur over the next several years. For more information about the details and timing of the local negotiated agreement process click here.
When will construction start?
Construction of some elements of the Sustainability Campus, including a Waste Education Center (and Administrative Building) and composting area, are proposed to start by 2025. These early elements of the project will impact a relatively small footprint of the site. Early stages of construction of the landfill infrastructure is not anticipated to be needed until approximately 2028-2029, or after the completion of several permitting steps.
What will happen to golf?
It is at the discretion of the City of Madison to determine the future for golf at the Yahara site. The City formed the Task Force on Municipal Golf in 2019 to address ten years of negative net income and offer recommendations on how to make golf more financially and environmentally sustainable. The recommendations from the Task Force included a recommendation to reduce the number of holes to 18 (from 36) at the Yahara site. This proposed project accommodates for 18 holes of golf at the site until at least 2045 and possibly beyond. Dane County is committed to maintaining the level of play and positive golf experience at the site through natural buffers, protection of trees and screening, and both attentiveness and responsiveness to any concerns from golfers and City Parks staff.
How will recreation be incorporated into the landfill site?
Utilization of surrounding greenspace for recreation and education will be a focus of our master planning efforts, and Dane County intends to maintain recreation before, during, and after operating at the Yahara site. Dane County Parks Division will also be incorporating the current Rodefeld landfill and surrounding lands into their next Parks and Open Space Plan. Upon the closure of the Rodefeld site, up to 150 acres of land will be available for recreation which will serve our community until the Yahara site is ultimately returned to open space.
Additional recreational opportunities at the Yahara or Rodefeld site could include trails for hiking, biking, cross country skiing and space for activities such as disc golf. Our vision for a multi-use recreational site would allow more people than ever before to enjoy the space in a variety of ways.
How high will the landfill go?
The future height of the landfill will be determined during the formal design process that will occur over the next several years. There are limits to how high a landfill can be built based on stability of the slopes, local negotiations and community input, as well as geotechnical investigations.
The height of the landfill also determines the capacity and the length of time the landfill site could serve the community.
What are the requirements for building a landfill near private wells and what is the risk to groundwater?
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources requires that a landfill’s limits of waste boundary must be at least 1,200 feet from any private or public water supply wells.The landfill owner may request a smaller distance if it can be demonstrated that there would be no impact to the water supply (adequate hydrology, well construction, depth, etc.). This type of request also requires notification to the landowner and allows for the landowner to have the opportunity to be involved in the landfill permitting and design process.
Modern landfills, like the Rodefeld Landfill and any future landfill, are highly engineered and carefully constructed to ensure protection of the environment. There are also various requirements for landfills to monitor the groundwater and private wells surrounding the site to ensure that the water quality continues to remain consistent with conditions prior to the landfilling activities. Through our 35 year history of monitoring groundwater at and near the Rodefeld site, our team of staff, consultants, and regulators have not observed any results that would indicate that the landfill is impacting groundwater.
What will be done to control odors?
We are committed to doing everything possible to minimize odors. Landfill odors are caused by constituents in biogas that are produced during the breakdown of the waste we all generate from our households and businesses. The most effective way for us to control odors is to control the landfill gas with a robust and well-functioning landfill gas extraction system. To achieve this, we have and will continue to use the following management practices:
Varying conditions such as barometric pressure, wind patterns, and humidity do temporarily impact gas collection abilities and odors. We have invested in a number of tools and practices to respond to these conditions including:
We have heard recent requests for additional ways to provide comments and concerns and have created a feedback section on our webpage here.
What about odors from a compost site?
The current proposal includes development of an organics and food waste composting program in approximately 2025. Implementation of a successful food waste composting program would be a significant advancement in our local waste management system, generating a beneficial soil amendment and reducing GHG emissions.
Composting breaks down organic material through aerobic decomposition, a different process than what occurs in the landfill. However, there can still be odorous gasses produced if the site is not monitored properly. These impacts can be minimized through effective site design and good management practices (dense vegetative buffers, good water drainage, monitoring and maintaining compost health, frequent turning, appropriate material ratios, and adequate moisture content). Additionally, neutralizing or odor surprising agents, like we use at our existing site, could be used as needed.
Will the landfill attract pests?
We are required to minimize conditions that would attract pests and animals such as rodents, birds, and burrowing animals. These efforts include covering the waste daily, paid professional pest control, and regular visual checks for signs of animal intrusion on the landfill. We don’t commonly receive comments or concerns from our existing neighbors about pests.
Of note, we have invested in native pollinator seed mixes on our landfill cover and are committed to habitat restoration so that the site attracts a diversity of species of wildlife.
How will this project impact storm water?
This project will meet or exceed stormwater management requirements of the City of Madison, Dane County and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. We also plan to implement sustainability goals for any development which will include targets for green infrastructure practices including rain gardens, permeable pavement, and green roofs to promote infiltration and further reduce any downstream flooding impacts.
Additionally, The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is in final design of roadway improvements for US Hwy 12/18 and Cty Hwy AB, located adjacent to this site. The roadway project includes the construction of a large stormwater pond on the north east corner of the Yahara Hills site. The pond includes capacity to handle surface water runoff from the property. The intent of this pond is to help with current storm water management issues at the site. This project is scheduled to begin in 2022.
What impacts will this project have on property values and are neighbors compensated for potential impacts?
Our ultimate goal is to be an asset and have positive impacts on our surrounding communities by being a source of economic growth, jobs, recreation, educational opportunities, and renewable energy. Despite this, there is the potential for adverse effects on individual properties located near the landfill.
To provide our closest neighbors additional security, we have property value guarantees within our current local negotiated agreement which require us to compensate these homeowners if their home does not sell for appraised market value. Since this agreement started in 1994, the County has only had to compensate neighbors under this provision three times.
Additionally, as a part of our current local negotiated agreement we also provide annual compensation to our closest neighbors. The amount of annual compensation currently varies from about $1,200 to $7,000 annually and is based on the potential for impacts to that property.
The properties eligible for these payments and guarantees were determined by an independent analysis during the local negotiated agreement process. We anticipate that a similar analysis will occur during the Feasibility Study stage of the permitting process for the proposed landfill. We currently estimate this will begin in 2023. To learn more about the timeline for the permitting and local negotiated agreement processes, please visit this link.
Whose waste is being disposed of in the landfill and does the landfill take waste from outside of the County?
In our current local negotiated agreement, only 10% of our waste is allowed to be from outside of Dane County. The actual quantity of out-of-county waste we accept is far less, and we only exercise this option in unique circumstances.
The majority of Dane County’s waste is disposed of at the Rodefeld landfill, but not all of it. Each municipality is responsible for waste collections and can contract for their waste disposal services which sometimes results in waste leaving the County (most commonly if a contracted hauler also owns a landfill).
What are the steps for permitting a landfill?
Permitting a landfill is a multi-step process that is under the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). The first step, is obtaining the WDNR’s initial opinion on the suitability of a proposed landfill site.This includes an onsite inspection with WDNR staff which will likely occur in the spring of 2022. This first step also includes a preliminary report assessing the locational criteria (setbacks from waterways, private wells, etc.).These first steps are formally referred to as the Initial Site Inspection and Initial Site Report.
The next step includes a preliminary design for the site and the WDNR assesses the need for the landfill and determines the feasibility of the concept.This step takes several years to complete and includes extensive groundwater monitoring and subsurface investigations. This step is formally referred to as the Feasibility Study/Report. The local negotiated agreement process is a requirement of this step of the permitting process.
The last major step includes the development of a plan of operations for the site. This includes a more detailed design of the landfill, a phasing plan, and takes several months, or even years, to prepare. This step is formally referred to as the Plan of Operation.
The entire process is expected to take 8-10 years. For additional information about the landfill permitting process and project timeline visit this link.
What level of screening is going to be provided for nearby homeowners and golf course users?
To the extent possible, Dane County will protect and save existing mature trees on the site. Additional screening, most preferably natural screening, such as trees and shrubs, will be planted in advance of the project to allow time for maturation of the trees. Screening could also come in the form of soil berms or fencing. We are required to provide adequate screening of the landfill and during the final stages of permitting, Dane County will need to obtain the WDNR’ approval of plans for providing screening.
What’s involved with the Local Negotiated Agreement process? What’s included with the Agreement?
The Local Negotiated Agreement (LNA) process is administered by the State of Wisconsin Waste Facility Siting Board and is required as part of the Feasibility Study stage of landfill permitting.
The landfill operator and the municipalities must closely follow the LNA process outlined in the State statutes (ss. 289.33). The process begins when the siting board mails letters inviting affected municipalities (municipalities that are within 1,500 ft of the proposed edge of waste for a landfill) to participate in the process.
Each affected municipality that wishes to participate in negotiations appoints members to the LNA committee that negotiates directly with the proposed landfill owner.
Municipalities beyond 1,500 ft of the proposed limits of the waste can negotiate directly with the owner outside of the LNA process or be brought into the LNA process with consent of the committee members.
The committee can negotiate any variety of topics including but not limited to:
We expect this process to start in approximately 2023 and more information about the project timeline can be found here.
Why is this location being proposed and not another?
There are a number of factors that go into considering a potential site, including setbacks from private wells and wetlands, land topography, hydrology, surrounding land uses, and access to utilities.
The Yahara Hills site has a number of advantages for this project including its proximity to the urban center of our County, which minimizes waste disposal costs and allows for easy access to the site. These cost savings are passed to our customers. Since many of our customers serve municipalities, ultimately, these savings are reflected on our property tax bills.
Additionally, this project centers on the Sustainability Campus which will attract and encourage recycling businesses right here in Dane County and provide our area a unique economic development opportunity. This site is close to City utilities, transportation routes, and other businesses, making it ideal for the Sustainability Campus. Due to these reasons, we are not currently pursuing any other sites.
Why is this project needed?
We all generate and take out our trash each week. For Dane County’s half a million residents, this adds up to over 450,000 tons of waste each year. All of that stuff has to go somewhere and responsible waste management is necessary to protect human health and the environment.
We could in theory haul all of our waste to a landfill outside of Dane County, but that would come with significant negative social, environmental, and economic impacts. It would shift the burden of our waste to another community and cost money and emit greenhouse gases to transport the waste. The responsible thing to do is to find a way to manage our own waste locally.
Why can’t we recycle all of our waste or turn it all into renewable energy?
Our community’s ultimate goal should be “zero waste” production. Waste is actually a collection of resources that should be diverted for reuse, recycling, or conversion to renewable energy.
Dane County already strives for landfilling as a last resort and is a national leader on waste diversion and waste-to-energy. At our current site, we have a year-round Clean Sweep program and recycling programs for shingles, tires, metals, bikes, wood, and construction & demolition waste. We have also invested $29 million in a Renewable Natural Gas Facility that converts landfill gas to renewable vehicle fuel and generates revenue.
Currently, there are significant challenges preventing us from diverting all waste for recycling or energy production and the most economic and technologically feasible way to manage materials that cannot be recycled is by landfilling. The intent of the Sustainability Campus is to allow us to adapt to, and even create, new technologies as they become technologically and economically feasible.
Finally, we should not lose sight of the importance of waste reduction measures and preventing waste in the first place. Waste education is a major part in achieving “zero waste” and is central to the goal and vision of this project. Learn about some of our current educational programs here.
12.8.2021: Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
We are excited to share more about our project plans with you! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, you can take our project feedback survey here. This survey was adminstered during the in-person March 10th, 2022 Public Informational Meeting at the McFarland Municipal Center.