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Joplin tornado debris a boon for Galena improvements - KOAM TV 7

Joplin tornado debris a boon for Galena improvements

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The Galena, Kansas landfill has expanded more than 50 acres to accommodate 90% of Joplin's tornado debris.

Even after the landfill rate was reduced from $50 a ton to $24.50 per ton, Galena Mayor Dale Oglesby says the city has made a profit of $1 million.

That money has gone towards improving city parks, replacing storm sirens and assisting with downtown projects.

"This was a chance for us to reach across the state line and say 'we are willing to help' - we cut landfill rates in half from what we were charging and because we felt like we could operate it and show us some profit," says Mayor Oglesby.  "We are all in this together and we want to see us healed and whole and the only way we do it is neighbor helping neighbor."

Mayor Oglesby says at the height of the clean up the landfill was unloading 12 tons a minute.

"You would just stand out there with your mouth open watching the activity - it was like a beehive," says Mayor Oglesby.

It's been a year since the storm, but trucks are still unloading debris and construction scraps.

Galena resident Maria Anspach lives on the path the debris trucks take to the landfill.

"Sometimes a little bit of the debris falls off and that does bother me, but I think it's awesome that we would help Joplin," Anspach says.

Georgie Olsen also lives close to the landfill.  She says she had some sleepless nights because of the trucks at the height of the clean up but now the noise has become something familiar.

"Everybody needs a landfill and you get used to the noise and it's not like that all the time," says Olson.

Mayor Oglesby says the city received the landfills operating permit from the state, indicating that the landfill now has a 14 year duration expectancy.

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