Contractor chosen for nearly $11 million expansion of Rowan County landfill

Published 12:09 am Thursday, January 26, 2023

SALISBURY — A construction contract to build phase five of the Rowan County landfill has been awarded to NJR Group Inc. for almost $11 million.

Phase five will create an additional 19.25 acres of expansion to the landfill and is expected to have a life expectancy of eight years. It will also add approximately 960,000 tons of capacity. After phase five is built, there will be four more remaining phases to build. The landfill and its nine phases are expected to last until 2049.

Rowan County Commissioner Greg Edds questioned what NJR Group needed to do to complete the $11 million phase, saying, “that’s a lot of money.”

“What specifically do they do to prepare it?” Edds asked.

“We go through and do a lot of detailed design to figure out where the groundwater is and there’s buffer requirements and we try to maximize the space of the landfill by getting as close to that buffer as we can, so there’s earthwork where they’ll have to take out material and then they have to bring back a liner system,” said Michael Plummer, an engineer for HDR, a consulting firm the county is working with.

Plummer explained a liner system is used in a landfill to prevent groundwater contamination.

The landfill had a record-level amount of waste during fiscal year 2022, receiving approximately 190,000 tons. Other counties besides Rowan also use the landfill, but they pay an out-of-county rate. The COVID-19 pandemic is reportedly primarily to blame for that since people stayed home more and produced more waste, according to previous Post reporting.

The board of commissioners voted unanimously to approve NJR Group Inc. at the Jan. 17 meeting.