Superior, Army Corps come to agreement on sand for landfill

An agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will allow the city to use fine sand from dredge material for daily cover at the landfill.

A piece of heavy equipment compacts trash at the Superior landfill on Moccasin Mike Road in 2017.
Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR — The City Council approved an agreement Tuesday, March 21 that will save Superior money and help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers solve a problem at Erie Pier Confined Disposal Facility in Duluth.

In an effort to free up space at the facility where dredge material is stored and sorted for reuse, the Corps secured federal funding to pay for material loading and transport of 200,000 yards of fine sediment.

Superior proposed accepting 10,000 yards at the landfill for use as daily cover with an option to accept additional material in the future.

“They’re running out of space, and they need to get rid of it,” Todd Janigo, Public Works director, told the public works committee March 2.

Ten years ago, the Army Corps offered to sell the sand to the city, but at that time, the city could get sand cheaper and closer to the landfill, Janigo said. Now, he said the Army Corps is offering it at no cost to the city for the material and hauling.


In addition to providing daily cover for inside slopes at the landfill, Janigo said the material can also be used for fire suppression.

Councilor Ruth Ludwig said it’s her understanding that the sand has been tested and meets Environmental Protection Agency standards as clean before making the motion March 2 to accept the material from Erie Pier.

The committee recommended the council approve a right of entry agreement with the Army Corps to allow entry to landfill to accept the material.

Councilor Mike Herrick questioned Tuesday whether the city would have to gain approval from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to use the material. Janigo said the material falls within the city’s permit for the landfill.

“We’re getting something for nothing,” Councilor Jack Sweeney said. He asked what the value of that is to the city.

Delivered, Janigo said it would typically cost the city $8-$10 per yard.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved extending the landfill disposal agreement with Western Lake Superior Sanitary District through June 2026, when the landfill is projected to run out of space.
  • Adopted a resolution approving the city of Superior’s 2024-2026 three-year harbor development statement of intentions for eligibility in the Wisconsin Harbor Assistance Program. Nine projects were identified among General Mills, Fraser Shipyards, Elevator O and Elkhorn Equipment.
Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or
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