Rapid City Receives Landfill Grant To Help Plan For The Future


Rapid City has just received a large grant to expand it’s landfill complex south of the city. The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources has awarded the city a grant of one million dollars for a project that’s already underway.  

Earth movers are in the process of clearing 850,000 cubic yards of material from what is being called “Cell 18” at Rapid City’s landfill.  

The giant depression will not simply be a hole in the ground. It has been specially designed to prevent run-off from garbage and waste into the ground water, and will be lined with clays and plastic materials.

There will also be a network of pipes to guide the water where it can be treated.   

“Landfills are now very high-tech. That’s why, just to put in that plastic liner itself is just over a million dollars,” with Rapid City’s Solid Waste Division, Karl Merbach said. 

Cell 18 is part of an expansion plan that will extend the life of the landfill. 

“This will help us take in household trash and other materials for the next nine to ten years,” Merbach said. 

The money was awarded to the city this past week. It comes out of a fund that municipal waste departments pay into, and which makes money available to municipalities when the need arises.

“It is a grant. There are really no restrictions. There are no matching funds. Although we have already contracted out to pay $4.5 million for this latest landfill project to build our cell 18,” Merbach said. 

Merbach says the earthmoving phase of the cell’s construction will last into August. Then the installation of the plastic liner begins.

The city is already making plans for the cell 19 that will extend the life of the landfill even further.

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