On our recent tour, your Conservation Committee learned much about the Sarasota County Landfill in Nokomis, which is the final destination for Plymouth Harbor garbage. And here is the summary of our findings:

  • It is more than a “Dump.”  It is a multi-tasked, conservation-oriented operation.
  • Sarasota county owns 7,150 acres of which 550 are dedicated to compacting garbage.
  • Garbage is compacted in huge, earthen bowl-shaped areas.  They are gradually built up to a height of 120 feet.
  • Earth bolsters the angled side of the bowl as it rises.  It is then covered by dirt with a large motorized compactor.  Grass is planted on each 120 foot hill.  And then they have to mow the grass!
  • These landfill hills are the highest places in Sarasota County.
  • There is another center that recycles garden waste, prunings, fallen leaves, any plant life.  The number of plant-waste-filled plastic bags is nearly uncountable.  The plea from the landfill director is, “PLEASE DO NOT PUT PRUNINGS, ETC. IN PLASTIC BAGS!”  Each bag has to be split and emptied by an employee before the contents can go into the pile to be turned into mulch.  Then they have to get rid of those thousands of plastic bags.  (Anyone is welcome to help themselves to the mulch.  Just go to the landfill.)