Snowmass company taking over Glenwood landfill operations |

Snowmass company taking over Glenwood landfill operations

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Glenwood Springs is looking to contract management of the South Canyon Landfill to an independent contractor.

According to Glenwood Springs City Manager Jeff Hecksel, the city is currently negotiating a contract with Heartland Environmental Services based in Snowmass Village after bidding out the project in January.

Heartland is expected to take over management and operations on April 1, according to Larry Giroux, owner of Heartland. According to Giroux, the company has managed over 100 landfills in the United States in the past. They also currently operate landfills in Missouri and Pitkin County.

Robin Millyard, Glenwood’s Public Works Director said that contract details are still being worked out and that the city does not currently have a signed contract with Heartland, but if everything goes according to plan, Heartland could take over operations on April 1.

But it’s a move that Millyard and Hecksel say is a good one.

“Essentially we are looking to improve the efficiency of operations at the landfill,” Hecksel said. “It’s not that it’s bad now, we just think we could be doing a better job.”

Hecksel said the city has considered a management company for at least 18 months. Heartland will take over management operations and will receive a percentage of revenue for their services.

Heartland has managed the Pitkin County landfill since May of 1999. And the company renewed a 10 year contract with Pitkin County about three years ago, according to Giroux.

Hecksel said the South Canyon landfill’s management operations is out-of-date and that Heartland will be able to “modernize” the operations and increase the life of the facility by conserving landfill capacity.

“What we’ve designed in our proposal with some new practices and new modification, we could more than double the life of the landfill,” Giroux said.

The way they accomplish that is by diverting recyclables and other waste like wood that can be reused in some capacity out of the waste stream.

“These guys bring a lot of innovation to the table,” Millyard said. “They’ve got an approach to managing landfill waste streams to minimize what goes in to he landfill and how to maximize our space.”

Heartland will also increase the amount and efficiency in which gravel and liquids are removed from the waste stream. The gravel will be sold for additional revenue while liquids like septic tank wastewater will be evaporated through a patented technology designed by Heartland ultimately reducing the landfill’s green house gas emissions and its carbon footprint, Giroux said.

When Heartland took over the Pitkin County Landfill it was estimated that the facility would be full in 13 years. According to Giroux, Heartland has managed to extend the life of the landfill for another 28 years from today, he estimated.

While Heartland will take over management of the operations, Glenwood will still have employees working there. Glenwood currently employs a total of six people at the landfill. The city will retain three positions while Giroux said that Heartland will absorb the other three positions, and most likely will add a couple more.

The composting company Caca Loco will no longer operate at the landfill, according to Millyard. The company’s lease with the city expires on March 31. But Millyard said that Heartland will continue with a composting operation of their own.

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