Harrisburg resident Rick Lane, of West End Disposal Facility, celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Saline County landfill Monday, which he opened with Robert Wilson.
Lane said he decided it was time for a new landfill in the county when the old one, located on Whitesville Road outside of Harrisburg, began to fill up and leak into the groundwater.
Lane said they chose the new location, just outside of Thompsonville, because they "knew we wouldn't have environmental problems" there.
The pair own 125 acres that can be used for disposal, but only about 17 acres have been developed so far. Lane said the landfill has taken in about 535,000 tons of material since it opened.
Over the last 10 years, the landfill has given back between $650,000 and $700,000 to the county.
"We pay $1.25 per ton back to the county," Lane said,
At the current rate, Lane said the landfill could last another 40 to 50 years.
"We constantly try to enhance the value of the landfill for the future," Lane said. "I'm proud of what we've done."
Lane celebrated his 59th birthday Sunday, but isn't going to let that keep him from working hard at the landfill site.
"It's a very economically and physically challenging business," he said.
Lane's best story to come out of the ten years he's been working at the landfill so far is his rescuing a nearly-dead dog who had been abandoned and thrown out with someone's garbage. The one-eyed pup was barely a year old when Lane found him malnourished and in very bad shape at the landfill.
After nursing him back to health, Lane named him Shooter and the dog has been a constant companion since then.
Five years later, Shooter is now a helpful, loving companion for Lane, who spends much of his time at the landfill.
Though that may be one of the more extreme stories, Lane said he is always shocked by the items people throw out rather than donating to the less fortunate.
Though he'd like to see a more conscientious approach to garbage in this country, Lane is proud of the work he has done to create a sustainable, environmentally-friendly landfill that also gives back to the county's taxpayers.