When it comes to solid waste disposal, Pittsylvania County is in a unique position compared to many of our neighboring localities. While the surrounding cities and counties either have landfills with short lifespans or contract hauling companies to export their trash, Pittsylvania County has a 450 acre landfill that can operate for nearly 150 years with just Pittsylvania County trash.
But the costs of operating a landfill of this scale are very significant. Aside from the annual operating costs of nearly $1.4 million, roughly $7.8 million in capital expenses are already on the horizon at the landfill over the next five years, regardless of the amount of outside trash coming in. Those costs include the purchase of two large pieces of equipment totalling over $1.3 million, as well as roughly $6 million to close the current cell and expand into a new section of the landfill.
Solid waste collections, which includes the convenience centers, also costs just over $2 million annually to operate. The $120 annual Solid Waste Fee is used to cover the general operating costs of both the landfill and the convenience centers, but the revenue from the Fee doesn't cover capital expenses. That's why Pittsylvania County has agreed to generate revenue by bringing in solid waste from surrounding localities. These new revenue streams from contracts will cover the majority of upcoming capital costs. Without the solid waste fee and outside revenue, Pittsylvania County would be required to either incur significant debt, raise taxes and fees, or reduce investments in other critical areas like public safety and education.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the landfill accepting trash from our neighbors?
The Pittsylvania County Landfill is accepting trash from neighboring localities as a way to cover upcoming expenses so that our citizens don't bear the costs. Without the revenue coming from other localities, the $6 million cost of moving into the next cell of the landfill—a lengthy and necessary process—would be covered by increased taxes or fees or through debt. Pittsylvania County leaders decided that utilizing the landfill to cover some of those capital costs is the best financial option.