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Dump site hours could change

Abuse of the solid waste sites in Buckingham County has led supervisors to consider closing the facilities during midday hours.

According to Lyn Hill, the county’s solid waste supervisor, the county spends between $80,000 and $150,000 because of illegal dumping each year.

The board discussed the matter during its June 13 meeting.

Some of the items dumped cause damage to waste trucks if the drivers do not realize such items are in the containers, said County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter.

District Four Supervisor Morgan Dunnavant said that some local contractors are using Buckingham’s household waste bins as construction bins.

According to Buckingham’s website, contractors are required to carry all construction debris and disposal to a landfill or are required to purchase and use a roll-off construction container.

The closest landfills to Buckingham County are in Prince Edward and Amelia.

Every vehicle that comes into the sites is supposed to have a county decal which indicates proof of county residency, according to Carter.

“For the most part, I do not think the county citizens are abusing the household waste except for the fact they will use the unmanned sites because our monitors check for county decals,” Carter said.

Lumber, furniture, mattresses, tires, steel and other building materials often end up being dumped illegally into the sites. According to Hill, the misuse by contractors and the general public is supposed to be prosecuted with a fine of $250-$1,000.

“I have never seen this done,” said Hill.

According to Hill, the unmanned Gravel Hill solid waste site on U.S. Route 15 North at Route 617 has the highest amount of abuse. Hill said that Fluvanna and Cumberland residents use the site.

During the meeting, supervisors discussed a proposed new solid waste on Route 15 South, at the current Bates Market site, and changes that could be made to improve site conditions.

Though no formal decision was made during the meeting, it ended with supervisors in agreement to close the manned solid waste sites for two days from 11 a.m-2 p.m on open days and to change the Route 56 solid waste facility to a manned site.

The changes could take place during a six-month trial period.

According to Carter, changes to the sites could negatively impact the remaining unmanned sites. She recommended that, prior to enacting the trial, the supervisors take information on the sites to the board’s utilities committee and give it 90 days to come back with a recommendation on how to address supervisors’ concerns.

The discussion of the solid waste sites stems from concerns that the sites are being misused.

Dunnavant said that it is “pretty obvious where (the) abuses are coming from.” 

The supervisors agreed to give the utilities committee 90 days before making a decision.

According to Dunnavant, before the decision is made, supervisors will see if closing the waste sites for certain times during the day daily twice a week would affect the amount of illegal waste being dumped. Dunnavant is an advocate for keeping the sites open as much as possible.

Dunnavant said that most of the illegal activity takes place during the middle of day. For that reason, supervisors are considering closing the sites during that time to try to eliminate abuse.