Watch Now: City, County Eye Yahara Hills Golf Course For Future Landfill, With A Focus On Reuse | Science & Environment

by | Oct 30, 2021 | Golf Courses

The first of its kind in the United States, this system captures enough gas every day to heat about 6,500 typical Wisconsin homes and generates about $ 2.5 million in revenue for the county annually.

Trash piled about the height of a seven-story building waits to be compacted at Dane County’s landfill, which is nearing full capacity. The county is pursuing a plan for a new site that will focus on treating waste as a resource.


Prospects bleak

As with all golf courses in the city, the game has steadily declined over the past 40 years, although the sport has been gaining popularity again since the COVID-19 pandemic.

But 2020 was the first year in two decades that 53-year-old Yahara Hills had enough play to break even, said Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp.

Report: Madison keeps getting better at recycling, but room for improvement

Under a new contract, every percentage point of garbage in recycling bins costs the city an additional $ 1 per ton.

It’s unclear how long this bump could last, but Knepp said it is conceivable that without improvements to the golf course, the city’s golf program could be another year like 2018, when it lost nearly $ 1 million.

“Climate change and the lack of infrastructure to deal with rainwater mean Yahara is just waiting for the extreme weather that will put it in a worse position than it has ever seen,” he said. “Without reinvestment, Yahara is able to create a resource sink that could bring us dangerously close to these results again in the future.”

Even if the sale is approved, the current 36 holes in Yahara Hills would remain open for the next three years with “minimal disruption” until at least 2028.

At that point, the course could be remodeled or continued with the remaining 18 holes through 2045 or possibly beyond, said Streets Superintendent Charlie Romines, who previously oversaw the city’s golf operations.