Construction of Amherst County’s transfer station for solid waste is in full swing at the county’s landfill property on Kentmoor Farm Road in Madison Heights.
Brian Thacker, director of public works, said the department hopes the transfer center can be up and running by January.
After more than a year of study and discussion, the Amherst County Board of Supervisors in January 2020 voted 4-1, with member David Pugh opposed, to approve a contract with Rocky Mount-based Price Building, Inc. to build the 8,000-square-foot facility estimated at $2.2 million. Once the center is in operation, the landfill is slated to close.
The board opted for the transfer station, rather than expanding a new cell at the landfill, in a measure officials have said would lead to cost savings in the long run.
The landfill’s current active cell is nearing its airspace capacity and is at the maximum height, Thacker said.
“We have to some do something,” Thacker said. “The county [board] made a determination it would be cheaper to truck it out of here than bury it.”
The transfer center will have a dumping floor that Thacker said would allow residents and commercial customers to dump trash. The department will truck the solid waste to another landfill in another locality that hasn’t yet been determined, according to Thacker.
The county several years ago borrowed $4 million for the landfill expansion and is using some of that for other solid waste projects, Thacker said.
County officials have said the transfer center method of solid waste disposal carries less of a liability than burying it in a landfill.
“It’s always a liability because we have to monitor it,” Thacker said. “Even when we close a landfill we are required for 30 years to monitor it.”
The county is monitoring a former landfill in northern Amherst County that closed 25 years ago, he said.
“And as the [Department of Environmental Quality] restrictions get tighter and tighter, they look for more things and so the county is always on the hook for that,” Thacker said, adding of the transfer center: “It mitigates [liability] somewhat. It’s far less than with a landfill …Having it trucked off by [vehicles] will be easy and less liability.”
The county also has the ability to reopen the current landfill, a property exceeding 200 acres, if necessary in future years, Thacker said.