By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Local citizens will get to weigh in Wednesday on a plan to expand the Wood County Landfill. A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m., in the fifth floor hearing room of the Wood County Office Building, on the plan to grow the landfill which has been submitted to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The county landfill originally opened along U.S. 6, west of Bowling Green, in 1972. The current permitted area of the landfill has an estimated six years of space left. It takes anywhere from three to five years for the Ohio EPA review process, said Kelly O’Boyle, assistant administrator for Wood County. “It’s a long process,” she said. The proposed expansion will add an estimated 105 years to the landfill, based on current use. For a period of nearly 15 years after 2000, the Wood County Landfill averaged about 35,000 tons a year taken in. Then Henry County closed its facility, and for three years, Wood County Landfill took in about 48,000 tons a year. Last year, that tonnage jumped to 58,000. The current footprint being used is 42 acres, reaching almost 100 feet high. The expansion would take place on approximately 59 acres to the north of the existing acreage being used. “We want to keep it as a public asset, so people can bring their stuff here,” O’Boyle said. The bottom of the landfill has an EPA-approved liner, and once an area is full, it gets an EPA-approved cover. Methane gas is monitored with a series of wells, and leachate is captured so it doesn’t move off site. Those same monitoring standards of groundwater, surface water and methane will be required for the expanded area, O’Boyle. The proposed expansion will allow the landfill to extend upward 180 feet. The existing landfill area is approved to reach 120 feet high. The county owns a total of 350 acres at the landfill. Staff from the Ohio EPA will be present at the public hearing on Wednesday. “By law we’re required to have a hearing for people to ask questions,” O’Boyle said. County officials have been talking about the need for a landfill expansion for years, and have not heard any complaints from citizens, she said. “It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone,” O’Boyle said.