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The Future of the Eloy Landfill

About the Landfill

  • In operation for nearly 80 yrs.​

  • Total of 160 acres 

    • Only 40 acres are used right now

  • Only 3 employees manage daily operations

  • Receive around 9,000 tons per year

    • very low amount of trash resulting in high costs to remain open​

  • Gate fees

    • $45 per ton

    • Eloy residents receive their first 1,000 lbs. of trash free 

      • $25 per ton after 1,000 tons.

  • The cost to run the landfill last fiscal year was $335,000.

  • The City only collected around $258,000 in revenue to cover expenses at the landfill​​.​​

    • Expenses not covered by revenues are paid for through the general fund.​

Why Now

Over the years, the volume of trash received each day at the landfill is well below the amount needed to sustain operational costs resulting in increased expenses for the City.  Because of the low trash volumes, gate receipts are NOT covering the costs to run the landfill.

 

To keep the landfill open and maintain operations the City has to make investments in...

(1)

Additional personnel at $55,000 per year

(2)

New equipment upgrades and replacement at $1.4 million 

(3)

Scale house improvements and automated technology estimated at $500,000 

(4)

Other costs associated with ADEQ permitting and minimum standards of operation to ensure the landfill is operating to code.

Furthermore, the City has to fund the closure costs of the landfill estimated at $4.5 million as well as additional post-closure care estimated at $3.3 million for a total of $7.8 million.   The City anticipates the landfill will close in 30 yrs. and the actual cost may be higher because of inflation, changes in technology, or changes in regulations.

If an alternate solution for operations is not realized, then rates and fees will have to be increased to cover the growing costs of landfill operations.  Closure and post-closure cost alone may involve an increase in excise taxes to fund the estimated $7.8 million. 

Project Goals

Since 2019, the City has been examining alternate solutions for managing landfill operations that would reduce expenses and provide a way to leverage the City asset in a more economical way for the community. 

 

Concerned with the growing costs to maintain the landfill, in December 2020 City Council decided that the best solution would be to approve a request for proposal (RFP)  seeking qualified waste management companies to submit bids to lease the landfill from the City and manage daily operations and expenses for the next 30 years.  

The goals of a long-term lease with a private operator.

(1)

Management of landfill operations and services at their expense while continually providing best in service waste management solutions for the community.

(2)

Private operator will assumes responsibility for all costs of operations, including expansion, permitting, closure and post-closure expenses of the landfill. 

(3)

City receives additional revenues from the lease that can be used for other community projects.

Benefits to Eloy 

A long-term lease with a private operator will ensure that the residents of Eloy will continue to have an easily accessible landfill that is well-managed and a financial asset for the community.  Responsibly managed landfills are vital for the safe disposal of waste for any community while protecting the air, land and water upon which communities depend.

Furthermore, by entering into a long-term lease it is projected that the City of Eloy will receive around $800,000 in additional revenues each year.  As it stands now, the City would need to raise $250,000 to break even. 

 

Extra revenue from having the landfill professionally managed will...

(1)

Help keep trash collection costs and fees at the gate down for citizens.

(2)

Relieve the City of the liability expenses associated with operating a landfill.

 (3)

Provide a healthier revenue stream for the City's budget.

(4)

Additional funding will be available for community projects enhancing our City's appearance and services.  

Finally, the City will NOT have to fund the $7.8 million expense for closure and post-closure care of the landfill.  The private operator will be responsible for these costs and any others that arise. 

Options for Landfill Operations

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Option 1:  Partner with a Private Operator

  • City enters into long-term, 25-30 year, agreement with private partner specializing in waste management to manage daily operations of landfill.

  • City receives additional yearly revenue that would not have been received under current conditions.

  • Private operator responsible for all expenses including closure and monitoring of landfill after it closes.

  • Community continues to receive discounted dumping rates.

  • Additional revenues help to keep trash collection costs down for residents.

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Option 2:  Fill & Close

  • Continue operating landfill as is.

  • Fill landfill and close when capacity is reached.

  • Use revenue from gate fees to fund closure expenses.

  • Closure costs at this time time estimated at $2 million.

  • At closure, sell equipment and build transfer station to maintain local service for residents.

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Option 3:  Mothball & Construct Transfer Station

  • Convert operations to only accept  minimum amount of trash into landfill to keep environmental permits active.

  • Keep only necessary equipment and personnel to manage reduced landfill operations. ​​​​

  • Fund the construction of a transfer station to accommodate current trash volumes.

  • Transfer and disposal costs will be lower than current operating costs with low trash volumes.

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Option 4:  Expand the Landfill

  • Revise the current design to meet EPS guidelines and enter the disposal market in Central Arizona.

  • Utilize the existing 160 acre site to create more volume by going deeper and higher.

  • Provide long-term disposal capacity for City and partners.

  • Provide long-term revenue to the City. 

  • Will cost $1.6 million to upgrade equipment to run landfill professionally.

Myths & Truths

myth 

Landfill is being sold.

Truth 

Landfill will remain the property of the City.  City will be partnering with a reputable waste management company capable of operating the site more efficiently and effectively.

Myth

Landfill will be the largest in Arizona.

truth

Upon full capacity, reached in 30 years, the landfill will be of average size in comparison to similar landfills in the Phoenix-Tucsan area. 

For comparison, the largest landfill in the state is the Butterfield Station Landfill.

Myth

Groundwater contamination from toxins entering soil from unlined landfill.

truth

A lining will be installed as required by the ADEQ permitting process to protect the groundwater from contamination and the operator will comply with all environmental standards.

ADEQ requirements for landfill operations are designed to protect groundwater, manage leachate, provide for gas collection systems and outline daily procedures to mitigate odor, litter and pests. 

myth

Increased truck traffic all hours of the day causing wear and tear on city streets.

truth

An increase in truck traffic will occur BUT the landfill will only be open during the day upon agreed times outlined in the contract approved by the City Council.

Additional revenues received by the City through the agreement will be used to cover road maintenance costs 

Next Steps

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City staff received bids from qualified waste management providers and selected Republic Services to begin contract negotiations for management of the City landfill 

City staff is currently negotiating the terms and conditions of an agreement with Republic Services to lease the landfill and allow them to manage daily operations for up to 30 years.  

Once City staff finishes contract negotiations with Republic Services, the agreement and a Conditional Use Permit will be presented to City Council.

The public will have an opportunity to review the proposal, the conditions of the permit, and provide public input before any vote by council is held.

Public Meetings & Additional Information

City Council

Work Session 

Discussion on privatizing landfill and soliciting a Request of Proposals (RFP)

December 7, 2020

City Council

Special Meeting

 

Council authorization for solicitating a RFP privatizing the City landfill

 April 12, 2021

City Council

Special Meeting

Public comments and discussion on possible agreement with a waste management company for operating the Eloy Municipal Landfill 

August 16, 2021

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ADEQ

Landfills Fact Sheet

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April 22, 2019

Alta Appendix Slides for City Council Meeting

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April 12, 2019

Evaluation Study of Options for Eloy Landfill

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December 7, 2020

Public Works Director Presentation Slides for City Council Work Session 

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April 22, 2019

Alta Presentation Slides for City Council Meeting

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August 16, 2021

City Manager Presentation Slides for City Council Special Meeting

City of Eloy

595 North C Street, Ste 104

Eloy, AZ  85131

Tel: 520-466-9201

Fax: 520-466-3161

Business Hours:

Monday - Friday

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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