GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) – For nearly 50 years the landfill next to Highway 59 in Gulf Shores has collected construction debris and large items in south Baldwin County.

“Wood, metals, vegetation is primarily what’s in that landfill,” said Gulf Shores City Engineer Mark Acreman.

But, starting this year the Gulf Shores Landfill will begin phasing out operations. Acreman says some residents believe the city owns and operates the business because of its name, but thats not the case. The landfill’s private owner approached the city last year, giving notice that by 2028 the landfill will close.

“They wanted to submit to us a closure plan which is required by ADEM when a landfill is nearing its life expectancy,” he explained. About 20% of the landfill will close each year until the entire operation is fully shutdown.

That’s expected to take 5 years. In the meantime, parts of the landfill will remain open while the owner preps the rest of the property so the state can confirm the land is safe for future development.

“When they do that they cover the landfill with a clay cap topsoil and then they grass the whole thing, so it’s going to look like a big green hill when it’s all finally closed in 5 years,” said Acreman.

He says the closure gives the city a chance to rezone the property, putting it more in line with existing commercial businesses nearby. He tells us the landfill was grandfathered in and in the future a business like that won’t be allowed to operate in the same area.