Howard County is considering expanding the Alpha Ridge landfill in Marriottsville by buying 380 acres of adjacent land.
John J. O'Hara, chief of the county's Environmental Services Bureau, said the county will hire a consultant to evaluate the properties next to the landfill, a 590-acre site with a 200-acre fill area off Interstate 70, Marriottsville Road and Route 99.
He said the county is eyeing the 200-acre Percon Inc. and Doll family properties west of the landfill and the 180-acre Harles-Pendleton tract to the east.
The study, which is expected to cost about $100,000, will explore the feasibility of using the properties to expand the landfill and for a yard waste composting facility, Mr. O'Hara said.
The study is to begin in October and should take six months.
The county hopes to make a decision on the properties by next spring.
The current landfill, which opened in 1980 despite heated opposition from area residents, has sufficient capacity for another 10 years, Mr. O'Hara said. "If we find we can get 10 to 20 years in additional capacity by acquiring the adjacent properties, it is likely we will not initiate additional siting studies," he said.