ROCKLAND — A ballot question may be before Rockland residents next year to approve borrowing up to $2 million to close the quarry landfill that has been used for nearly a century.

City Manager Tom Luttrell told councilors at their Oct. 13 meeting that a $1.5 million to $2 million bond referendum will likely be needed in November 2022 to pay for closing the landfill. That money would be combined with the money the city has already in a landfill closure reserve account to pay for cover material, three monitoring wells, and gas collection sites.

The city will have to monitor water quality around the landfill in perpetuity.

The city plans to stop taking demolition debris from commercial haulers at the end of 2021 but debris from Rockland will be accepted until the closure is completed. That closure is estimated to occur in 2024.

Once the landfill is closed, the city will only take debris from residents, which will be dumped into containers for disposal elsewhere.

The city has used the adjacent quarries on Old County Road for various forms of waste disposal since lime stopped being taken from the quarries in the 1930s. Rockland allowed neighboring Owls Head and South Thomaston to use the quarry landfill until 1982. The city stopped using the quarry for household trash in 1988, when the transfer station building was constructed. The city stopped dumping sewer plant wastes in the quarry in 1995.

A 2007 engineering report estimated the city could have used the landfill for another 60 years if it limited disposal to only waste generated in Rockland. The City Council, however, negotiated deals with outside contractors in order to generate more revenue to pay for the closure and to close the dump earlier as the Maine Department of Environmental Protection wanted.