Eddy County’s Sandpoint Landfill is getting a new tipping station allowing residents to drop off their trash safely.
Eddy County Public Works Director Jason Burns said the new station will allay traffic concerns as many large trucks use the landfill and allow customers to avoid a challenging dirt road on the way to the top of the landfill.
Conceived in 2020, Burns said construction on the nearly $750,000 tipping station started in July and lasted nearly five months.
The station will be located at the entrance to the landfill, allowing users to leave their waste for the county to take into the landfill.
Oct. 18, county crews prepped trash dropped off by a landscaping company waiting to be moved to the upper part of the landfill located east of Carlsbad on U.S. highway 62/180.
“If we can improve our safety to keep them off the top and reduce the liability to the County this is money well spent. Not to mention the years of life it’s going to by for our landfill,” Burns said.
Built in 1993, the Sandpoint Landfill, Burns said the landfill currently has another 30 years left of life.
Before construction of the tipping station, Burns said people brought their trash to the top of the landfill. He said past concerns of safety and efficiency weighed on the mind of Eddy County administration.
“With everything from uneven to soft ground to walking around on the face of the landfill to our equipment moving around back and forth and not adequately compacting the waste that is brought in. We’ve constructed the tipping station where we will be moving all of our waste that’s brought to the Sandpoint Landfill that’s brought to our tipping station,” Burns said.
With the new tipping station, he said people will not be allowed up top as heavy equipment packs the waste into the landfill.
“There will be solid even surfaces for people to dump on. No more risk of overturning vehicles or uneven surfaces. It’ll be a safe area for people to get out of their vehicles and unload whatever trash they have brought to the landfill and not have to worry about the equipment moving back and forth or stepping on sharp surfaces,” Burns said.
He said the tipping station allowed crews for greater trash compaction.
“We’ll be able to better compact and essentially get more years out of our landfill which will ultimately save us taxpayer dollars by getting the most life we can out of our landfill,” Burns said.
On average since 2014, Eddy County spent an average of $1.2 million for landfill operations, read Eddy County records. Income from the landfill brought in an average of $1.5 million year and more than 120,000 tons of trash were hauled in yearly.
“It will essentially be the same operating cost,” Burns said. “We have not bought any more machines. We haven’t hired anymore people yet for the new operation. We’ve simply re-purposed and reassigned work.”
The City of Carlsbad provides financial help to Eddy County for landfill operations, said Kyle Marksteiner, City of Carlsbad spokesperson.
During the 2020/2021 fiscal year the City of Carlsbad contributed $811,000 to operations at the Sandpoint Landfill, said City of Carlsbad Utilities Director Ron Myers.
City of Carlsbad Solid Waste Code Enforcement Officer and Keep Carlsbad Beautiful Executive Director Mary Garwood said the tipping station is a strong help for Carlsbad and Eddy County residents.
“It’s going to help reduce the risk of accidents and make for a quicker way for residents to dispose of their waste,” she said.
Keep Carlsbad Beautiful is a community cleanup organization working with the City of Carlsbad Solid Waste Department to help keep Carlsbad clean from litter and refuse.
Burns expects the tipping station to be in full operation by November.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.