Published: Oct 21, 2010 5:11 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 21, 2010 2:11 AM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Building out versus building up. WINK News was the first to report about Collier County wanting to expand their landfill, making it nearly 20 stories high. But now we uncover another plan that's not getting nearly as much attention.

"The owners were kind of surprised if you will, that this option is not being discussed at all," Michael Fernandez with Planning Development, Inc. tells us.

For the last two years he's been working with the county, South Florida Water Management, and the land owners of a piece of property next to the landfill to expand horizontally.

"You're looking at expanding it by 100 percent. You have 300 acres for the current landfill, you'll be adding 300 acres," Fernandez describes.

We asked the county about this piece of land. Dan Rodriguez with Collier Solid Waste Management says it's off the table because the price is too high and there's concern about the cost to mitigate wildlife and deal with watershed issues.

Fernandez says the last two concerns have been dealt with by environmental agencies and water management. He calls them measurable and very attainable.

The price of the land has dropped to less than half the original price, under $20 million. In the long run, Fernandez believes it's worth it because it will extend the life of the landfill over triple what the vertical expansion will.

"It will extend it, right now based on the county's own projections, by 75 years."

Another issue brought up is permitting. Fernandez tells WINK News to permit this project would be similar to the permit the county is seeking for for a vertical expansion, and is something the state does often.

County Commissioners will be voting on whether or not to go ahead with trying to attain a vertical expansion permit October 26th.