Seacoast's Turnkey Landfill Gets State Approval To Expand

Jun 15, 2018

Turnkey Landfill in Rochester
Credit Sanborn Head

The main landfill serving the Seacoast has gotten state approval for a big expansion, over the objections of some neighbors and environmental groups.

The 1,200-acre Turnkey Landfill in Rochester takes trash from the Seacoast and out of state.

Waste Management told New Hampshire regulators last year it wanted to add about 60 acres to its landfill in order to keep it open through at least 2034.

The state approved that expansion this week, on the condition that the landfill maintain room for New Hampshire's trash.

Neighbor states are expected to need to send more waste to Turnkey as their landfill capacities shrink in the coming years.

Some public commenters told the state they're worried the landfill poses an environmental risk. The state says it enforces its own regulations to keep that from happening.

It also notes that the facility is lined, doesn't take hazardous waste, and has its leachate – liquid that has passed through the waste – pumped out and treated.

Some contamination has been found around the landfill, according to state data. Its owner says the specific source of those chemicals isn't known.

Turnkey Landfill will accept about 14 percent more waste when the expansion is complete.