The Allied Waste Landfill west of Porter will close today. It is uncertain when it will reopen, said Carol Voss, site manager.

Voss said the groundwater table at the landfill is too close to the surface “and it’s just a problem that needs to be fixed.”

The closing of the landfill creates a real problem for Jim Hinds Sanitation Service, which hauls refuse for customers in Wagoner, Warner, Webbers Falls, Gore, Okay and Haskell.

Hinds said he received notice about a month ago about the closure. He said he had not completed negotiations on a replacement site.

Hinds hauls 6,000 to 7,000 cubic yards of trash each month — more than 57.6 million pounds per year.

Hinds said he will take his company’s trash to either the Muskogee landfill or one in Tulsa, depending on where he can get the best rate. The Muskogee landfill is operated by Waste Management.

He will attempt to absorb any increased cost for disposal but could ultimately have to raise rates, Hinds said.



Voss said she isn’t certain who made the decision to close the landfill.



Tom Spencer, who is in charge of the operation through Allied’s Tulsa office, was out of town for the week. The person answering the telephone there said there was no one else available who could comment on the closing.

Monty Elder, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, said there are no orders from DEQ for the action. The only information she had was that the landfill operators had petitioned DEQ to shorten the hours at the Porter site from a six-day-per-week schedule to where it would be open only a few hours each month.

Elder said there has been some discussion with DEQ officials about expanding the Porter landfill or building a new cell.

“DEQ regulations say that the bottom of a cell — which is the area in which the waste is disposed in a landfill — must be 5 feet above groundwater,” Elder said. “But they found that they could not because the groundwater level was high enough that they wouldn’t have the 5 feet between the bottom of the cell and the groundwater that is required.

“Basically what has happened is that the ground water level has changed. When that landfill was built (in 1987), there was room between it and the groundwater table.”

She said there are engineering solutions to the problem, but those would add expense to the project.



Reach Liz McMahan at 684-2926 or lmcmahan@muskogeephoenix.com.

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