Changes coming to Pittsylvania County's landfill

Open house planned to help county residents understand the changes

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – Pittsylvania County residents will soon have to start paying a yearly fee to help operate the county's landfill.

The landfill is quickly filling up.

"We know right now we average about 1,040 pounds of waste per cubic yard (of land at the landfill)," assistant county administrator Richard Hicks said.

The industry standard, according to Hicks, is 1,500 to 1,700 pounds of trash packed in to every cubic yard of land.

To help pack in more trash, changes are being made to be more efficient and effective.

Hicks said that's where the $120 yearly fee comes in.

"It covers the operation of the landfill, it covers all of our convenience sites, where the trash dumpsters are and our green box sites," Hicks explained.

Because this fee is new, the county offered media outlets the opportunity to tour the landfill in order to show residents what their money is paying for and to explain why the fee is needed.

Hicks said the changes at the landfill will allow the county to use the current space longer.

"If we can increase that life expectancy, then we don't have to buy new land," Hicks said.

The landfills life expectancy could increase by at least 13 years.

"We're hoping that getting this information out now will make it easier for people to understand what's going on," Pittsylvania County solid waste program contractor Ceillie Simkiss said.

"Most of the comments that we've had have been that, now that people are going to be paying for the service, they want better service. That's something that we're working on."

To help with that, an open house event has been scheduled at the landfill for July 12.

"They can email me and we'll set something up, set up a time for them to come out here and ask questions and get answers," Simkiss said.

Her email address is publicrelations@pittgov.org.

The trash fee bills are expected to be mailed out in December.

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