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Archive for Wednesday, June 19, 1996

TRASH SHIPMENTS ONLY ONE OPTION

June 19, 1996

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The city of Wichita, despite an ad's assertions, doesn't plan to truck its trash to the area landfill.

An advertisement seeking Lawrence residents' input on the city of Wichita's trash plans shouldn't raise concerns locally, a Wichita city official said.

"I can tell you positively, there have been no decisions on this," said Gordon Bassham, public information director for the city of Wichita.

Bassham was responding to assertions in an ad that appeared in Sunday's Journal-World and sought responses to several questions, including: "Are you aware that Wichita, Kansas, might send 1,500 tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) per day to a landfill in your area?"

Under the headline "Coming soon?" the ad states: "547,500 tons of Wichita's Trash Coming to Your Area Landfill? What are your comments and concerns?"

Readers are asked to return the survey to James A. Maugans, Wichita. Maugans has an unlisted home phone number and could not be reached for comment.

Bassham said it was true that Wichita had been looking at alternative trash sites since learning that the Brooks landfill in Sedgwick County would reach capacity in October.

But an alternative site is only one of four options being considered, he said, adding that other options include creating a "waste-to-energy" system that converts trash to electricity or ethanol.

He emphasized that the city hadn't settled on a solution and had no plans to begin shipping trash to the Lawrence area.

"To say that 547,500 tons of Wichita's trash is coming to the landfill in Lawrence, that's just not true," he said.

Bassham said the city had filed a request with state health and environment officials to extend the Brooks landfill's capacity, and it expects a decision on the request in October.

"We anticipate no problems with the permit," he said.

Bassham said the issue would be discussed during a workshop session Tuesday involving elected officials from throughout Sedgwick County.

"They'll talk over their preferences ... and then the (Wichita city) council probably will wind up ordering city staff to go out and explore, to get more definitive costs and so forth," he said.

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