The Clay County Landfill is a mixed municipal solid waste land disposal facility owned and operated by Clay County. The Landfill (Permit No. 34), operating since 1972, encompasses 182 acres of the south half of Section 19 in Hawley Township (T139N; R45W.) Approximately 2/3 of the landfill acreage is utilized for landfilling activities with the remaining acreage consisting of swampy areas. Three full-time operators are employed at the landfill.
The site of the landfill is located on a glacial moraine referred to as the Hummocky Moraine, consisting of great depths of glacial till, a heterogeneous mixture of silt, clay, sand and gravel; however, mostly clay is evidenced in the permitted working area of the site. Nearby and to the west of the site are the beach ridge aquifers.
These are ridges of fine-to-medium sand ranging from 10 to 30 feet in width and tens of miles long. Evidence of the nearness of these ridges to the landfill site is shown by the amount of sand found in some of the soil samples taken at the site. Borings made to a depth of 50 feet show little change in soil composition between the surface soils and the subsurface soil. The low permeability of this soil composition permits very little ground water to flow horizontally.
The Landfill operating permit was renewed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) on October 19, 2009. The operation of the landfill is compliant with current State rules and regulations.
The landfill operators are state-certified and follow standard operating procedures, including but not limited to load inspection and rejection of certain problem wastes and other prohibited materials.