Pierce County’s waste, whether received at transfer stations or collected by hauling companies, is currently transported to the LRI landfill located in Graham.
The LRI landfill, which opened in 2000, is a privately owned mixed municipal solid waste landfill on a 320-acre site. The 168-acre landfill footprint has the approximate capacity for 29.2 million cubic yards. The footprint was configured to avoid impacts to South Creek and its eastern tributary. The landfill is comprised of cells, and under each cell is a state-of-the-art liner and leak detection system. This landfill covers the waste and captures harmful greenhouse gases that are produced. Most of this consists of methane, which is currently used to power homes nearby.
The LRI landfill is expected to reach capacity potentially before the County’s disposal contract ends in 2036. A new landfill is not being considered as an alternative once the existing landfill reaches capacity. Long-haul, either by rail, barge, or truck, will divert a portion of waste in the near-term to extend the life of the landfill, and be used as a primary disposal strategy once it is no longer accepting new waste.
Currently the landfill accepts 1.2 million tons of garbage per year or about 6 million pounds of garbage per day.