Residents in Marion are wondering just how much more trash the landfill along Highway 13 can hold. The Gazette reports that the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste Agency wants to extend the capacity of the landfill through 2074. Agency officials presented the Marion City Council a video proposal this week that proposed a cell modification to the landfill which sits along County Home Road.

Cedar Rapids City Council member Scott Olson told the Gazette "There are not many other options if the landfill closes for our county. We want to start a dialogue for what will happen in 25 years."  The proposed cell expansion would extend the landfill's current capacity, which is through 2044, by 30 years. A 2006 agreement requires the Marion City Council to approve any amendment to the current plan. Excavation would begin later this year and construction of the new cell would happen in 2021.

There is just one problem with this or any other plan to expand the landfill. The city of Marion just happens to be growing in that general direction. Solid Waste Agency officials say they understand that Marion feels like they are the "dumping ground for the entire county." The Gazette reports that the agency handles around 200,000 tons of garbage each year with Marion residents accounting for just over 3 percent of the landfill's customers by tonnage. But officials point out that many Marion residents work for other companies that contribute to the landfill too.

Solid Waste officials say that they hope a viable alternative for waste removal becomes available in the next 20 years. But having the extra capacity in Marion is insurance in case one doesn't.