GULF SHORES — The landfill in northern Gulf Shores will be shut down within five years under a plan approved by city council.The council voted Monday, Dec. 12, to approve a phased closing plan …
GULF SHORES — The landfill in northern Gulf Shores will be shut down within five years under a plan approved by city council.
The council voted Monday, Dec. 12, to approve a phased closing plan for the 62-acre facility.
Lee Jones, director of planning and city development, said the landfill will be closed in five stages over the next five years. The property in the first phase, a 10-acre site on the west side of the property, will be closed by the end of 2023.
"The real benefit here is getting the landfill closed over that five-year period, which is going to improve the physical condition of the site," Jones told council members. "It's also going to enhance the property values of the residential lots surrounding the site. So, this is a real positive improvement to this location within the city."
The second phase, located to the south of the first phase, will be closed a year later. The last two phases, located closer to commercial property on Alabama 59, will be the last to be closed by the end of 2027.
Jones said the company operating the landfill will conduct some limited operations taking construction and demolition debris for some of the next five years to generate money needed to close the facility.
Mayor Robert Craft said the move will be a benefit for the surrounding property and the entire city.
"This is a significant improvement in the opportunity for the visible appearance of this because, if we have to give them five more years of hauling material in to get this approval and get the bond to cover the cost so that it can be graded and slope protected and some grass put in there, which will end up at the end of this extension of five years will end up the kind of appearance that we're looking for on the landfill for all the surrounding properties there because it has, in the past looked pretty ragged," Craft said. "This new group together has made the commitment and has the ability and commitment to fix it from the standpoint that what we're left with is much better than what we would have been."
Councilman Philip Harris said city officials realized several years ago that the landfill needed to be closed. After Hurricane Sally struck the area in 2020, crews hauling debris to the site found that the facility did not meet required standards.
He said a new company now owns the site.
"We've got a real good solution in place here and it does have a closure date," Harris said. "We know this thing is going away and we know it's going away properly."
Under the plan, the landfill sites will be covered and seeded with grass. The maximum height allowed at the site will be 73 feet above sea level in areas near residential property and 83 feet on the side near commercial property on Alabama 59, Jones said.