City approves landfill contract

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

When they met this week, Leavenworth city commissioners approved a contract for the disposal of garbage collected by city crews.

Commissioners renewed the city's agreement with Waste Management, which operates a landfill in Shawnee, for next year.

The city has been hauling garbage to the Waste Management landfill since 2019.

Leavenworth Public Works Director Brian Faust said Tuesday that the city disposes of about 11,500 tons of solid waste each year. The city also disposes about 3,710 tons of what he referred to as special waste each year. The special waste is sludge and grit from the city's wastewater treatment plant.

Faust said Waste Management's rate for the disposal of municipal solid waste will increase by about 5% next year, going from $25.96 per ton this year to $27.28 per ton in 2022. But the rate for landfill services for special waste is increasing by about 81%, going from $25.96 per ton this year to $46.98 per ton in 2022.

Faust said the increase in the rate for special waste will cost the city an additional $78,000 next year.

The public works director said one of the reasons for the significant increase in cost for special waste stems from the fact that the city hauled some solid waste to the Leavenworth County Transfer Station during the spring and summer this year because of staffing shortages. He said hauling trash to the Transfer Station, which is located in Lansing, reduced the turnaround time for city staff.

But Waste Management received less solid waste from the city than was anticipated. Faust said the company tries to maintain a specific ratio of solid waste compared to special waste.

Faust said there are other options for the disposal of special waste. And city staff will review these options with a consultant for a possible long-term solution.

"This process will take time," he said.

He recommended approving the contract with Waste Management for next year for landfill services for both solid waste and special waste.

Commissioners followed this recommendation, unanimously approving the contract Tuesday.

Despite the additional travel time, Faust believes the city saves money by hauling garbage to the Waste Management landfill in Johnson County instead of the Leavenworth County Transfer Station.

He said the Transfer Station charges $50 per ton this year for municipal solid waste, and this rate will increase to $52 per ton in 2022.

Faust said the city will save an estimated $197 per load by hauling garbage to the Waste Management landfill next year instead of the Transfer Station.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

In other business

The Leavenworth City Commission:

• Advanced a proposed charter ordinance to provide additional language related to uniform complaints and notices to appear filed with Leavenworth Municipal Court.

Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said the new language will match a process already used by Leavenworth Animal Control officers when issuing citations.

The ordinance will be brought back to commissioners during a later meeting for a final vote.

• Approved a resolution to allow the owners of the property at 2201 Magnolia Drive 90 days to complete repairs to a house that was damaged by a fire.