The Kansas Department of Health and Environment estimates that landfills in Cherokee and Crawford counties will receive between 2 and 3 million cubic yards of construction and demolition waste from Joplin, Mo., as a result of the May 22 tornado. Due to proximity, southeast Kansas landfills are preferred over sites in Missouri.
The State of Kansas has been working alongside the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to ensure the proper disposal of C&D waste, which includes wood, insulation, electrical wiring, rebar, concrete and bricks. Vegetative waste (i.e. trees and brush) is being managed at a designated site in Missouri where both burning and chipping is proposed.
Debris from private property cleanup work began flowing to Kansas landfills over Memorial Day weekend. The Federal Emergency Management Agency directed the USACE to lead removal and disposal operations involving C&D waste from residences and public properties damaged in the tornado.
The first loads of debris generated by the USACE project arrived at Kansas landfills on June 2. The USACE intends to haul several hundreds of loads of debris per day to Kansas landfills with expectations of completing the preponderance of debris removal and disposal by mid-August.
To ensure safe disposal of the C&D waste from Joplin, KDHE's Bureau of Waste Management will continue to monitor the landfill operations. All landfills receiving C&D waste from Joplin are expected to follow enhanced waste screening procedures to ensure that unauthorized waste is not disposed. KDHE has confirmed with USACE as to which facilities in Kansas are suitable for use.
"The collaboration by state agencies, local government officials, USACE and landfill owners has yielded creative solutions to help maximize the use of Kansas resources in helping the cleanup efforts in Joplin," said Bill Bider, KDHE's director of waste management. "We are working with landfill owners to quickly modify the design of facilities and operating plans to accommodate waste flows that are much larger than normal."
The following landfills in Kansas are either being used or are being considered for the Joplin debris disposal:
The City of Galena C&D landfill
B-3 landfill in Cherokee County
A C&D landfill owned by GT Management in southern Crawford County near Mulberry
Oak Grove municipal solid waste landfill near Arcadia
Prairie View Regional Waste Facility near Lamar, Mo., is currently the only landfill in Missouri receiving Joplin debris, according to reports from USACE. Because of the large volume of waste from this cleanup effort, it is possible that other landfill disposal sites in Kansas or perhaps Missouri will be identified and approved, said Bider.