- Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 17:52
- Published on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 17:52
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Pick-for-Pay program to begin March 1
Waste Management District Manager Tom Cue announced to King George Supervisors at their Jan. 15 meeting that he was beginning to look into the potential for expansion of the landfill, saying it could add years to the life of the landfill and keep landfill revenue rolling into the county longer.
Cue said he was researching what any expansion would mean to both the county and to Waste Management, Inc. The expansion notion was brought up as part of a regular quarterly report that he provides directly to supervisors.
Cue also talked about a March 1 startup for county organizations to apply to him to pick up litter and to then receive a $500 donation. (See below.)
Regarding potential expansion of the landfill, Cue said Waste Management is looking at several possible scenarios.
An example he talked about was for vertical expansion, saying to allow the height of the landfill to be 100 feet higher would extend the life of the landfill for about an additional 15 years.
Cue stated, “This would mean, based on current numbers, $6 million per year would equate to about $90 million,” over that timeframe.
He added that he wanted to take the next step and have an independent engineering firm put together some preliminary drawings for the county and for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to examine.
Cue said he would also have engineers put together a rendering, saying that would show what increasing the height would look like from all areas and from all sides.
There was no objection to his going forward to have drawings done. Supervisor Joe Grzeika, in whose district the landfill is located, addressed the idea, saying, “As far as doing the engineering study and bringing that back, I’m not there as far as the expansion area, yet. But I don’t think there’s any reason to at least allow him to go ahead to do that and take a look at it.”
There were no objections from other supervisors, including Chairman Dale Sisson, who represents the county at-large. Ruby Brabo said she saw no reason to not go forward to get the engineering information, and John LoBuglio did not specifically address the expansion proposal. Cedell Brooks was absent from the meeting.
Any action to increase the size of the landfill, either vertically or by increasing its footprint onto more acreage would require an amendment to the landfill contract by supervisors and also by the state to approve the change in its DEQ permit.
The existing language addresses the landfill height, saying, “At no time shall the height of the surface of the facility exceed 275 feet from sea level…”
The landfill contract was approved by the Board of Supervisors in August 1993 and, following permitting by DEQ and construction of its first cells, began operations in November 1996.
The landfill tipping fee of $5 per ton brings in about $6.2 million in revenue each year, which is used to make payments on the debt incurred by construction of capital projects, primarily schools, along with some civic projects, including the new Sheriff’s office building and the expansion of the Smoot Library.
Not only does the landfill bring in revenue, it also saves the county the expense of disposing of waste generated by county residents and businesses, along with decades of costly environmental monitoring of a municipal landfill, or trucking and disposal costs of transporting county waste to a facility in another jurisdiction. The idea of expanding the existing landfill would be very carefully, and very publicly, considered prior to any action by the Board of Supervisors off in the future.
Cue announced that his idea to provide $500 donations to organizations in exchange for groups helping pick up trash along routes traveled by trucks hauling trash would start up on March 1, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cue had first floated the idea last August in front of Supervisors, who had no problems with the concept.
Cue said the groups would need to have insurance and adult supervision for the groups consisting of youth, such as scouts or school clubs.
Cue noted that groups are available to ‘pick’ on a Sunday, he would let them pick up trash on an interior road inside the landfill, saying it would be very safe, with no trucks or other traffic.
Cue had told Supervisors at a meeting last Aug. 21, that he gets about 20-30 requests each month from school groups and community organizations asking for donations, but that his donation budget is limited.
At that time, he floated the notion of asking groups to help pick up trash along a length of Route 3 that would be designated in return for a donation on a set day and timeframe, instead of paying the amount to a subcontractor.
Cue has said he will provide and place large signs along the designated road area and will provide the use of helmets, vests, pickers, and bags. He will also have the bagged trash collected after the project is complete. Cue can be reached by calling the main number to the King George County Landfill, 775-3123.