The Wisconsin Point Landfill started closing in the mid-seventies and was replaced by the Superior Landfill, also known as the Moccasin Mike Landfill.  Although located in Wisconsin, waste from much of Northeast Minnesota ends up at this location. “It serves all of the City of Superior portions of Douglas county, kind of the northern part of Douglas county, and then the entire Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, which is all the Greater Duluth area, Carlton County, and then a lot of the waste on the North Shore of Lake Superior too, ends up coming down the shore,” explained City of Superior Environmental Regulatory Manager Darienne McNamara. “There’s no other landfills up there to take that way.”

An estimated 18 semi trucks of waste each weekday are hauled from WLSSD to the landfill. Built in five phases, the landfill is unable to expand any further. “When they first started it, it was much, much smaller when they first built it. This has been constructed in five different phases,” said McNamare. “Phase one was the only thing open when this landfill first started. We’re on phase five now, so 40 some years later and we expect this to go through 2026. Then we will reach capacity.”

Once that happens, the landfill will be closed for good. “We will cover all the garbage with soil and then work on starting to actually formally cap the landfill, which is a pretty complicated process, but basically just wrapping it all up in dirt and plastic and more dirt on top and covering it with grass,” McNamara explained. “And then we start our long-term care, which is a state requirement that for a minimum of 40 years that we’re out here monitoring the site just to make sure that nothing is leaking, that everything’s working the way it’s supposed to be.”

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Author: Sabrina Ullman, WDIO ABC