The Humboldt County Landfill Committee approved an agreement between the Humboldt County Regional Landfill and Farr West Engineering to survey of the areas of the Winnemucca Landfill. The committee approved the agreement at the Feb. 11 special meeting.

The engineering firm will survey areas of the landfill that have been disturbed during the past five years and compare the survey to previous surveys. The firm will then compare the surveys to the landfill master plan and make a projection of the remaining life of the landfill. 

According to documents submitted to the committee, Farr West Engineering will use drone technology to survey the landfill areas.  The drone technology can be used to target selected areas and can easily map 40 to 60 acres per day depending on the flight height. 

The engineering firm will provide the county with the results for review and a report will be sent to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). The cost of the project is expected to be $12,000.

The landfill is approximately five miles north of Winnemucca on US Highway 95. The landfill was designed and permitted in the mid-1990’s. Documents obtained by the Sun show that the tonnage of solid waste between the years 2008 and 2015 (last surveyed year) show an average of 24,285 tons per year. A growth rate of 3% per year was used by Farr West to forecast the remaining life. 

The 2015 survey results indicated three scenarios based on the 3% growth rate in order to guide fill activities for the remaining life of the landfill. The various scenarios indicate the landfill’s life will fall short between one year to two and half years. However, the county has opted to take the recommendation of Farr West which will “bring the useable life of the landfill to 2030, one year short of the target of the original design.”

In the 2015 survey recommendations, Farr West suggested the county conduct another survey of the landfill which will allow the county to get a “clear picture of the landfill and its remaining life can be verified and operational modifications incorporated.”

In a separate email, Humboldt County Manager Dave Mendiola said the county expects the landfill will “run out of room in 2030.” The county is  attempting to acquire Bureau of Land Management land that is adjacent to the landfill for future expansion.