site near Stink Creek and Dirty Head not popular in
By Molly Farmer
May 1, 2006 | NEWTON -- Dirty Head
and Stink Creek roads may not sound like very appealing
destinations to some valley residents. But for Cache
County officials, a solution to the area's filling landfill
may lie between them.
According to the Logan Landfill Siting Study, the
landfill currently serving county residents is expected
to reach its capacity in 2023. A plot of land about
four miles north of Clarkston between Dirty Head Rd.
and Stink Creek Rd. was chosen and purchased, as it
is considered the best in-county site for a landfill
should county officials decide to build a new one.
Not everyone is pleased with the location, however.
Concerns among locals, including Newton and Clarkston
residents, became very apparent when a heated public
meeting was held in 2002 in Clarkston.
"A landfill never goes down happy," Newton Mayor Clair
Christiansen said last week.
Utah State University Professor Douglas Jackson-Smith
conducted a survey of 600 residents. Two hundred were
residents near the potential landfill site, 200 were
Logan residents, and 200 were residents from different
parts of the county whose opinions were used to evaluate
what the communities cared about. The survey was a "way
to take the pulse of the community," he said.
Jackson-Smith found Clarkston, Newton and Cache Junction
respondents preferred to have an out-of-county site
while the rest of the county preferred an in-county
Jackson-Smith said he attributes some of the inclination
toward an in-county location to bargaining power. Should
Cache County run out of landfill space without any alternate
sites, trash would have to be taken out-of-county and
the county would lose control over disposal rates. If
Cache County owned a potential landfill site, however,
the county would have more negotiating power.
The study also found people were most concerned with
water quality, noise and smell-related nuisances, loss
of wildlife habitat and minimizing cost.
"A repeated concern is a sense of unfairness that
a remote area of the county that generates a small amount
of waste could be considered as a location for a countywide
landfill," according to the Logan Landfill Siting Study.
Christiansen said people would have liked to have
had the site closer to Logan, but it's "better to make
a town of 700 unhappy," than a city of 30,000 to 40,000.
The process to find an alternate site for the county's
waste began in 1997 and has been actively pursued since.
A citizens advisory committee along with a technical
committee was organized to make recommendations concerning
the selection of a future landfill site. These two organizations
reported to the Logan City Environmental Department
concerning their findings.
Christiansen was one of 11 people who served on the
ctizens advisory committee. The committee was successful
in making resolutions that would benefit Newton and
Clarkston residents. If a landfill is built on the purchased
plot, trucks transporting waste would have to bypass
the towns and the committee also recommended a transfer
station be developed in an urban area to reduce vehicle
Aside from being the mayor of Newton and a person
on the citizens advisory committee, Christiansen owns
farmland that borders the purchased plot. He said he's
mainly concerned about the agricultural impact a landfill
will have on the area.
If a landfill is to be constructed in-county, it won't
begin for another 10 years, Jackson-Smith said. After
all the research and surveying that has taken place
though, it appears the site north of Clarkston is the
"They've spent a lot of money," he said, and the long
process of looking for another location isn't likely.
At the request of the Solid Waste Advisory Board,
alternate sites continue to be explored out of county.
Davis, Weber, Cache and Box Elder Counties are currently
looking into creating a four-county landfill in Box
"Every county has to do something with their junk,"
Cache County Council's recent recycling decision,
which will enforce mandatory recycling over the next
two years, is a more pressing issue for commissioners
than making any final decisions on a landfill, he said.
"They're not really worried about us right now," Christiansen