There's a big cover-up underway at city hall concerning the Sioux Falls city landfill. And after a lot of digging KELOLAND News got to the bottom of it and found out there's a lot of waste city officials are trying to hide.
"We did some calculations, for a family of four to fill up this area, it would take them 509 thousand years," landfill superintendent Dave McElroy said.
When it comes to talking trash, nobody does it better than Dave McElroy. He's the Sioux Falls Regional Landfill superintendent.
It took three years for the city to dig this massive hole at the landfill west of Sioux Falls. It covers 20 acres and is 80 feet deep. It's the third of nine cells designed to hold all of the trash from the five county region.
"It's basically being built, because in two years we'll probably run out of our existing air space," McElroy said.
In case you're wondering about the liner, it's made out of a hard plastic and there's a lot of it.
"It's kind of like a giant carpet laying process," McElroy said.
The long rows of thick plastic add a layer of protection for the environment.
"Basically it helps prevent the garbage juice, it prevents it from getting out and contaminate the surrounding groundwater and protects the landfill gas from getting out and escaping from the cell as well," McElroy said.
That methane gas that is then piped to the ethanol plant in Chancellor. But the city won't start dumping trash in here for another couple of years, but once it does, it should last the city for another ten years, making sure this land does go to waste.
The Sioux Falls Regional Landfill is expected to hold garbage until the year 2079.