Iowa City City Council approves new $3.2 million landfill cell

The new fiscal 2023 cell will replace the current fiscal 2018 cell, which is nearing the end of its five-year lifespan.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague looks at a laptop during a Iowa City City Council meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

Isabelle Foland, News Reporter

The Iowa City City Council approved a contract for the construction of a new landfill cell for the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center on Tuesday night, which will replace the current one that is nearing the end of its five-year lifespan.

The contract was awarded to the lowest bid offer, which was from DeLong Construction, Inc. of Washington, Iowa, for $3,277,685. This offer is lower than the city engineer’s original cost estimate for the project, which was around $3.7 million.

According to the meeting’s agenda, a new landfill cell is needed for fiscal 2023 due to the current cell, fiscal 2018, nearing full capacity. A landfill cell is a trench or pit where waste is stored.

The agenda states the new cell will be 11.1 acres in size and is expected to last nine to 11 years. 

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In an email to The Daily Iowan, Iowa City Senior Engineer Joseph Welter wrote the increased size of the new landfill cell and a rise in inflation accounts for the increased cost of the fiscal 2023 cell compared to the current fiscal 2018 cell.

“Taking into account a standard inflation rate for construction costs of 3.5 percent per year, that cell would cost over $1.5 million dollars today,” Welter wrote. 

Welter wrote the smaller size of the fiscal 2018 cell is what caused it to be filled up quicker, as it only had an estimated five-year lifespan.

The construction of the cell will begin next year between April and October to allow for the fiscal 2018 cell to be used up as much as possible until construction of the new cell is complete, Welter wrote.

“We would begin operations within this new cell in 2024,” Welter wrote. 

Councilor Janice Weiner’s call to approve this item was passed unanimously by the council.