Burnsville approves plan to let landfill trash pile become taller than Buck Hill

It's was discussed by the city council Tuesday night.
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An image showing how high the trash mound could rise.

An image showing how high the trash mound could rise.

UPDATE Wednesday A.M.

Burnsville approved the landfill plan at Tuesday night's meeting.

Original story

A new landmark could soon arrive in the city of Burnsville, but not one that will be welcomed by some local residents.

The City of Burnsville will on Tuesday night discuss a proposal to expand Waste Management's Burnsville Sanitary Landfill on land near I-35W and Hwy. 13.

The contentious feature of the expansion is that while the overall area of the landfill would decrease, it wants to increase the height of the potential trash mound by some 268 feet.

That would bring the total height of the permitted garbage pile to 372 feet tall, which the City of Bloomington has pointed out would be taller than the ski slopes at nearby Buck Hill.

Bloomington is among those who have raised concerns with the project, noting that the landfill would be an unsightly view for those living on the bluff of the Minnesota River. Multiple local residents have similarly written to Burnsville about the plan.

"With a peak elevation of 1,082 feet, the top of the mound will be higher than either Mount Gilboa, Bloomington’s highest elevation in Hyland Ski Area, or Buck Hill," The City of Bloomington wrote.

"However, the mound will read as much taller than either Mount Gilboa or Buck Hill as it will rise from the low elevation of the river valley rather than from the much higher elevation present at the base of Mount Gilboa or Buck Hill."

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The project would see some of the extra trash dug up and moved from current landfills on either side of I-35W (referred to as Freeway Landfill and Freeway Dump on the map above), to the Waste Management's Burnsville Sanitary Landfill site at 2650 Cliff Road W.

The land from these landfills would then be cleaned and freed up for possible future development.

Meanwhile, Waste Management would have its allowable capacity expanded so it can take an extra 26 million cubic yards of municipal solid waste, enough to handle local waste until 2048.

In a statement to KARE 11, Waste Management said that while recycling and composting is on the rise in the Twin Cities, additional landfill capacity is still required moving forward.

"Waste Management's Burnsville Sanitary Landfill provides necessary land disposal service for residents and businesses in the Twin Cities metropolitan area," it said.

"With rapidly diminishing capacity for mixed municipal solid waste (MSW), the Burnsville Landfill must develop additional air space to meet this need."

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