Mesa County is going in with the City of Grand Junction in looking at the feasibility of expanding its composting facility at the landfill so it can take in far more that just yard waste. The commissioners agreed to spend more than $139,000 to “piggyback” on a contract the city has with Carollo Engineering, which was contracted by the city for a Master Plan Development Project at the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The county’s Solid Waste & Sustainability Division, which operates the landfill and composting facility, says it composts about 60,000 cubic yards of yard waste, cull fruit and manure that is brought in by county residents and businesses each year. But because the landfill operates as a government-owned enterprise, meaning it operates under its own fees and compost sales instead of tax dollars, it doesn’t have the available funds to expand the compost facility to accommodate more waste.

Hence the study, which could include altering those rates to pay for any expansion, said Jennifer Richardson, director of the waste division. “Right now, we’re only composting yard waste,” Richardson told the commissioners. “But there is a desire with members of the public to start composting food waste and biosolids. The next closest facility that could manage those materials is 45 miles away.”

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Author: Charles Ashby, The Daily 
Image: Mckenzie Lange, The Daily Sentinel