No mega landfill

Published 3:29 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2018


By now most of the residents of Cumberland County are aware of the proposed 1,200- acre mega-landfill that will accept trash from over 21 states. Many Powhatan residents are also aware of this mega-landfill, because the site is located on the Cumberland/Powhatan line on U.S. Route 60. This mega-landfill will remain in operation for 35 years. It is projected that there will be a minimum of 250 to 350 tractor-trailer and dump trucks coming to this site daily. County Waste of Virginia/ Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal have reported that approximately 80 to 85 percent of these trucks will come from the east. That means that these trucks will use I95, I64, U.S. Route 288, U.S. Route 522, and U.S. Route 60. This does not even mention the secondary roads throughout Central Virginia, including Powhatan, Goochland, Chesterfield, Henrico and the City of Richmond that these truckers will use after exiting the interstates. The other trucks will be traveling primarily through Buckingham and Prince Edward. My guess is that the majority of citizens in Central Virginia are not aware of how this landfill will negatively impact their health and safety.

Cumberland residents were blind-sided by their local board of supervisors. Residents were notified about the proposed landfill during the first week of June. After several strongly-opposed accelerated board meetings, the Cumberland Board of Supervisors approved the Rezoning and Conditional Use Permit and the Draft Host Agreement around 1:30 a.m. on June 29. At a Special Meeting Aug. 2, the Board of Supervisors approved the final draft of the host agreement. The issues of possible water contamination, noise and air pollution, decrease in land values, increase in traffic, risk to the wetlands, risk to the James River and Chesapeake Bay, and the risk of the overall health and safety of residents landed on deaf ears. Now this proposed mega-landfill is a statewide issue and will soon be before the Department of Environmental Quality.

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Everyone likes to refer to Virginia as a state of scenic and rural beauty, close to the mountains and to the ocean. Natural beauty filled with history and a peaceful way of life. This is still the description that we need to fight to maintain. If this mega-landfill is approved, Virginia will be known as the state that welcomes the trash from other states, and the state that helped to pollute the waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

You can help to stop this proposed mega-landfill by calling, writing, and emailing our state government officials, including your local representative of the Senate and House of Delegates. You can also contact DEQ, Army Corps of Engineers and VDOT to express your concerns. Virginia does not need a mega-landfill, and we certainly do not need to take trash from over 21 states. Visit the website to learn more and sign the petition to show your opposition.

Barbara Speas