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COLUMBIA - City staff are working to make headway on two new landfill projects for Columbia.

At a meeting held Wednesday they brought paper plans and discussed proposed projects, including three parts: a new landfill cell, lagoons to hold leachate and a new road to provide access to the landfill.

According to Adam White, the landfill superintendent, a new cell is the most important component because the current space for solid waste is near capacity. He said it has roughly one year left before it is too full. 

The new landfill cell will be the last one of six, each around 10 acres, holding just under a million tons of trash.

"Each cell can hold about five years' worth of our solid waste, and each year comes out to roughly 175,000 tons of trash. That number has gone up though more recently," White said.

"If we were in a position where we couldn't construct a new cell, we would potentially lose that benefit and our waste would have to go to a different community at a higher cost with higher transportation fees," White said.

The plans also include two lagoons, which would hold leachate before it goes to the treatment plants. Leachate is the dirty water that leaks out of the landfill. 

White said the plans will most likely be unopposed in city council in June, and construction is set to begin in September. The project should take no longer than one year.