With less than 10 years of landfill space remaining at the Rodefeld Landfill, the Dane County Department of Waste & Renewables is seeking out a potential new landfill site. 

Dane County and the city of Madison are currently looking at the feasibility of the Yahara Hills Golf Course, in the city of Madison, as a potential site, a release from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi's office said. The Rodefeld Landfill, and Yahara Hill Golf Course, sit on the edge of the Town of Cottage Grove.

This site became a possibility after the City’s Golf Task Force recommended closing half of the existing golf holes at the course.

The County shared its vision for the future landfill site in the release. It includes the development of a sustainable business park or “Sustainability Campus," which would divert waste and create local circular economies.

The county proposes creating a sustainable campus by incorporating reuse, repair, and recycling businesses, new waste management technologies, and research to the facility.

The release also said that Dane County officials hope that the site would allow for safe public access and education, allowing community members to examine their relationship to waste and learn more. 

The site would also include a composting program to accept food waste, a waste education center and an administrative building, the release said. Other potential ideas include a resale space, mattress recycling and and bringing in other developing waste management technology. 

The project is envisioned to the early stages of the project in the next five years. 

“If Dane County is unable to locate a new landfill site, local communities will have no option but to export their waste outside of the county. This would be financially and environmentally unsustainable, and would shift our waste burden onto others,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi in a release. “The Sustainability Campus would serve as a hub for recreation, environmental education, renewable energy, and innovation of a circular economy. It would provide the opportunity for the Dane County community to embrace a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.”

The release also said that county officials are working alongside Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, because of the proximity of the potential site to its facility. 

“As the original land stewards of TeeJop (i.e., pronounced “De-Jope”), the Ho-Chunk feel a responsibility to Mother Earth in all our Indigenous territories,” said Daniel Brown, Executive Manager, Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison. “Traditional ecological knowledge imparts the need for building resilience and sustainability to assure balance in our ecosystem for future generations. The changes in land use on Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison’s neighboring city property for this project intends to achieve that. We at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison are proud to support Dane County’s waste management conservation efforts, and we look forward to future collaboration to encourage ecologically sound solutions.”

The potential project would include collaborations with private businesses to divert waste materials from the landfill, as well as with Dane County Parks, the city of Madison parks department, and other local groups, the release said. 

Dane County has operated the Rodefeld Landfill since 1985, and will be considering the future of that property while securing the site of a future landfill.  The release said the county is working with Dane County Parks, City of Madison Parks and other groups to plan for the "conversion of the existing Rodefeld Landfill to recreational space." 

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