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Chairman Bob Warren explains why the Board believes that using the landfill to accept outside waste, cover its own expenses, and generate revenue is a sound financial decision, both for the finances of county government and for the individual taxpayer.
Many of Pittsylvania County’s neighbor localities are stuck paying millions of dollars a year for the disposal of their trash. Meanwhile, Pittsylvania County is in a position to make money with its landfill without significantly increasing costs. That is why several of those localities will be paying to have their trash hauled to our landfill.
The important thing is this: we can accept this extra trash without compromising the landfill’s lifespan of well over 75 years and without incurring significant additional expenses. This extra revenue will more than pay for the $7.8 million in capital expenses that are already on the horizon at the landfill over the next five years, regardless of the amount of outside trash coming in.
The Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors recently agreed to proceed with the purchase of two large pieces of landfill equipment—a compactor and a dozer—totaling over $1.3 million. With no backups and our equipment quickly wearing out, these purchases need to be made whether or not the landfill was accepting trash from our neighbors. Within the next few years, we will also need roughly $6 million to close the current cell and expand into a new section of the landfill, a costly and time-consuming process that would be necessary even without the additional trash. The $120 Solid Waste Fee covers the general operations of our 21 convenience centers, 10 green box sites, and the landfill, but does not provide enough revenue for necessary capital costs like these.
The Board has a few options to pay for all these needed investments and improvements: incur substantial, long-term debt; raises taxes and fees; or accept trash from our neighbors. The last thing that the Board wants to do is raise taxes or increase the Solid Waste Fee, and Pittsylvania County is still paying off the debt of expanding into the current cell nearly 10 years ago. That is why the Board believes that using the landfill to accept outside waste, cover its own expenses, and generate revenue is a sound financial decision, both for the finances of county government and for the individual taxpayer.
—Bob Warren, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors