The Nebraska Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments Wednesday morning on a case involving the proposed expansion of the Butler County Landfill, located four miles east of David City.
For most Butler County residents, how waste from our houses and businesess is handled is “out of sight, out of mind,” but the resolution of the case will have far reaching effects on the landfill, the county and the region.
Waste Connections, the landfill's owner, says the expansion for one of the state's largest landfills would extend its life 30 years. Without the expansion, it's expected to be filled in seven to nine years.
In December 2015, following a lengthy application process, the Butler County Board of Supervisors denied the recommendation for the Department of Environmental Quality to approve the BCL application.
The landfill appealed the denial in 2016, and in February 2017, District Court Judge Mary Gilbride ruled the landfill expansion application should have been approved.
In turn, Butler County appealed Gilbride’s decision. BCL filed a petition to bypass the Nebraska Court of Appeals to have the case heard by the higher court.
According to the case description, the issue is whehter district court erred in determining the Board acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it denied BCL’s expansion application.
Last year, before the county filed for the appeal, BCL officials said they would continue moving forward with planning, which includes construction of a paved road from Nebraska 92 south of David City to State Spur 12B, which runs between Abie and Nebraska 15. It essentially would create a paved bypass around David City.
The expansion permit application followed nearly a decade of back and forth about landfill issues, including heavy truck traffic. The landfill has paid for upgrades to roads over several years and ongoing maintenance has included dust control and other upgrades.
The landfill has both its supporters and opponents. Local businesses have praised Waste Connections' support of local causes and highlighted the business' economic impact. Area village board members are concerned about losing the convenience of the landfill and the cost to residents for shipping waste elsewhere.
Opponents have raised concerns about the wear and tear on roads and blowing trash that escapes the landfill’s extra fences and trucks hauling waste.