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Concern aired over new dump site hours

Supervisors’ action to change the hours at recycling centers and solid waste sites with roll-off containers across Buckingham in late April brought one citizen to the board’s Monday meeting.

Eddie Slagle, who lives in District Three, said he was disappointed in the board’s actions concerning the recent decision made “about how to control the abuse of sites with roll-off containers.”

He said the Route 600 Recycling Center, which is located in District Three off of U.S. Route 15, “which is stated not to be a problem and not used that much, will have the fewest hours of operation from 6-8:15 a.m. and 4:30-7 p.m., which is only going to be open like four hours and 45 minutes a day.”

Eddie Slagle

Slagle added, “and Route 56, (which) already (has) increased waste costs, will be pretty much open unrestricted.”

He said the decision made by the board was based on comments brought up but “not necessary verified,” citing the statement of $80,000-$150,000 in solid waste increases. “The population is not increased, but solid waste has.”

During a previous meeting, supervisors agreed to close four manned solid waste sites during set hours during the day when attendants aren’t present.

The 6-1 vote stipulated that the action affecting the Dillwyn Recycling Center on Wingo Road, the Route 655 site, the Arvonia site on U.S. Route 15 and the Route 600 site would begin June 1. The decision, which only saw opposition from District Seven Supervisor Danny Allen, stipulates that the Route 56 site will be closed in the evening hours 7 p.m.-6 a.m. daily and will close Sundays at 6 p.m.

The sites on Route 655 and in Arvonia and Dillwyn will close 11 a.m.-2 p.m. daily. The Arvonia and Route 655 sites will continue to be closed Thursdays. The Route 600 site will be open 6 a.m.-8:15 a.m. and 4:30-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, it will be open 8-10:15 a.m. and 3:30-6 p.m.

“Basically, it hasn’t been verified if the dumping in question is local or not,” Slagle said.

“My question, Mr. Chairman, is do you know how much the county has spent on making the changes?”

The board’s recent action follows discussion during the board’s April 17 meeting, where District Four Supervisor Morgan Dunnavant, who sits on the board’s utilities committee, brought up the topic.

“We’re going to try to monitor these sites because we’re closing these others (during the day and) we expect these sites will probably catch it … and maybe work with law enforcement to see who’s coming in there,” County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter previously said regarding the county’s unmanned sites after referencing photos of tires and other prohibited items at the Route 657 site near St. Andrews Church — one that’s unmanned.

Slagle said he spoke previously to Carter about how supervisors took action under the agenda item of “other board matters” toward the end of the meeting, not allowing “the affected citizens the opportunity to voice their concerns under public comment. (Public input) might aid in more appropriate solutions … No public comment could be made on it.”

“I guess the bottom line to all this is if we enforced the rules that are in place and not punish the citizens of Buckingham by taking a shotgun approach to a rifle problem, it might be something that we can take care of,” Slagle said.

R.C. “Bobby” Jones

He added that the unmanned sites — ones without attendants — will probably “have to look out for all this extra (trash) that’s going to be coming in.”

Buckingham has solid waste sites across the county, including on Route 600, Route 655, Arvonia, on U.S. Route 15 in Dillwyn, on U.S. Route 15 at the former Bates’ Market Store, on Route 56 and Routes 15 and 617. The larger centers have roll-off construction containers, such as the sites in Dillwyn, on Route 655 and in Arvonia.

“One of the main problems in our trash situation,” said District One Supervisor and Board Chairman R.C. “Bobby” Jones in response to Slagle, “is that we have so many people, including this board, that says, ‘If we close this one, we’re going to have trash on the highway. If we close that one, it’s going to bring in less trash.’ We really don’t know what these changes are going to do. And I think that the fact that we are looking at it six months down the road on a trial basis, and I think that’s what we are planning on doing at this time, that will tell us a whole lot of things.”

He said when gates to the recycling center in Arvonia were first closed once a week 10 years ago, “people that hadn’t read the signs, they would come in and they would bring in the trash, they wouldn’t throw it all over the highway. They did sit it by the fence, which was good. But, it is a big item on our budget. We’re going to spend, budgeted, about $800,000 this year for our trash, and we need to find out which is the best way to go and which is (the) bad way to go.”

Jones said one problem is “we are paying for other counties’ trash. We don’t know how much.”

He added the changes, he thought, “will tell us a whole lot in three or four more months.”

“We don’t know if it’s local … We guess,” Carter said during a previous meeting regarding trash from outside the county coming in to the sites. Over the last six months since surveillance cameras have been at the Route 56 site, Carter said, “almost every month the waste costs went up. So, more trash is coming in there. I don’t know the answer because our costs are going up but we’re having more trash. And where it’s coming from, I don’t know.”