Waste-disposal company expanding Milner Landfill

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— Steamboat Springs and Routt County are growing, and so is the need of its residents to throw things away.

So it makes sense that Twin Enviro Services is completing construction on the next phase of the Milner Landfill, about 12 miles west of the city. Twin Enviro won approval from Routt County this year for another 68 years of operation. But the company, owned by Les Liman, also is taking steps to usher in a new era in which it does more than bury commercial and residential trash.

"We're doing so much more than solid waste disposal right now," said David Epstein, who oversees technical sales and marketing for Twin Enviro.

The company is building a facility that will allow it to handle liquid waste. There is a growing demand to properly dispose of waste liquids that can't go through the city of Steamboat's wastewater treatment plant, Liman said. Those waste liquids, such as wastewater from natural gas drilling sites, often harm the microorganisms that break down municipal sewage.

Soon, at a facility under construction, the Milner Landfill will be prepared to solidify liquid waste in a specially lined pit. The waste will be mixed with fly ash, a byproduct of nearby coal-fired power plants that has a significant capacity to absorb liquids. After it's solidified, it would be suitable for burial in the solid-waste portion of the landfill, Liman said.

Twin Enviro can call upon ACZ Labs in Steamboat to test clients' liquid waste for its suitability. Liman is a principal in ACZ, which works with clients internationally.

The new landfill pits are under the management of Doug Bell, who has been with the company for about 15 years.

In addition to expanding the community's capacity to properly dispose of solid waste, the expansion will further help to recycle waste. It will use shredded tires -- as many as 1 million of them -- in a lining that helps the pit function properly.

The pits will span 20 acres, and the mound of trash will rise 150 to 270 feet above the current grade. The site is in a hilly region on the south side of U.S. Highway 40 where the subsurface is pocked by old coal mining operations. As each phase of the landfill is brought on line, the previous one will be covered with vegetation, Epstein said. Liman added that a trust fund has been established to ensure there always will be funds escrowed to accomplish the re-vegetation.

Twin Enviro, the trade name for Twin Landfill Corporation, has extensive experience with liquid waste solidification at its Phantom Landfill near Cañon City. The liquids that could be handled here include glycol from the aircraft de-icing pads at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, grease traps at restaurants, discarded printing inks, sand trap wastes from auto repair garages and car washes and even waste from chemical toilets.

Epstein is particularly enthusiastic about developing a new aspect of the Milner Landfill in which he hopes to continue his previous activities in recycling building materials from the growing number of redevelopment sites in the valley. Wood flooring, dimensional lumber, windows, plumbing fixtures and electrical fixtures are among the many materials that can be salvaged and reused, Epstein said.

He created a nonprofit business entity, Home Resource, through the Community All--iance of the Yampa Valley. With his employment at Twin Enviro Services, Epstein is transferring Home Resource operations to the Milner Landfill.

He's deconstructing the Nite's Rest motel in downtown Steamboat, where he salvaged classic pedestal sinks from all the rooms.

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