BURLINGTON – The state of Vermont has been operating with only one landfill for decades. After officials moved to close local town dumps around 30 years ago, the state’s only landfill has been located in Coventry, getting bigger and smellier by the day. Trash from the state’s many transfer stations usually gets sent to Coventry, but the site is nearing capacity and sits precariously close to Lake Memphremagog’s watershed. The original plan for closing down the local dumps included building new landfills, but until now no suitable site could be found. But this week the state approved plans for a new landfill located in downtown Burlington.
“We were sitting in a meeting, just kind of spinning our wheels, not coming up with anything useful,” said state official Phil Dappit, “basically business as usual, when someone, I forget who it was, it might have been Becca, anyway, they just sat straight up and said ‘Hey! I just figured out where there’s a huge pit that nobody’s doing anything with, and in a place where no one will notice terrible smells!’ and we kind of smacked our collective foreheads and realized the obvious solution to this decades-old problem.”
The new landfill, cleverly called “The Burlington Landfill” on official documents, will be built on the site of the old Burlington Square Mall, where much of the work needed to create a steaming pile of garbage has already been done. The new site will have some odor control, although test sniffers were unable to pick out the garbage smell over the already powerful scents of urine, marijuana, and cotton candy vape cartridges that permeate much of downtown.
“This really is a win-win for everyone,” said Dappit. “The state has a place to store trash, the residents don’t have to protest against affordable housing anymore, and the city will get actual revenue from the state for the continual storage of the garbage, since they clearly weren’t ever going to see any revenue from CityPlace anytime this century.”
The landfill is slated to be opened in spring of 2020, although many residents are already getting into the spirit of things by leaving trash on the city streets in anticipation of the new downtown feature.