County dedicates gated site

Published 4:40 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Buckingham County supervisors and officials held a dedication and ribbon-cutting Friday to welcome an automatic gated entryway at an existing solid waste site.

The solid waste site is located at 7121 Plank Road on Route 600. This site is the first of several in the county where the automatic gated entryway will be installed.

The gates are activated by Buckingham County residents’ county decals on their vehicles. Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), a sensor at the gate identifies the county decal on a resident’s vehicle, which in turn allows the gate to open. A gate on the other side of the entrance opens as vehicles are leaving the site.

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District Three Supervisor Don Matthews tested the gates by driving in and out of the solid waste site. The Route 600 gate is located in District Three.

County Administrator Rebecca Carter said the technology at the gate can save money in the long run and can prevent people who live outside the county from bringing trash to the site.

Carter said to the county’s knowledge, Buckingham is the only county in the region taking this approach to collect trash only from those within the county.

“Savings will come from not having out-of-county waste in the sites because without a county decal they cannot enter the sites,” Carter said. “We will save on disposal cost, fuel from not traveling to so many sites, and eventually manpower. Monitors will gradually be reduced; however, we will have to have some to clean up the sites.”

Cost associated with landfill operations in the county have increased by approximately $100,000 since 2013 due to abuse of the sites by out-of-county residents, according to a presentation given by the county.

The automatic gate is among a series of steps county officials have taken to address out-of-county waste.

The St. Andrews solid waste site has been closed due to the request of the property owner, according to the presentation. The Andersonville unfenced site will be closed when the new system is fully operational.

Carter said the county is in the process of constructing a new solid waste site adjacent to the former site at Bates Market on U.S. Route 15.

“When it is all said and done the following will be the sites we have and all will be gated: Rt. 600, Bates, Route 56, Route 655, Arvonia and Gold Hill (route 617) and the Dillwyn site,” Carter said.

Controls to operate all of the solid waste sites in the county using the new technology comes to a one-time cost of $23,250. The estimated total cost for technology to activate the gates comes to approximately $67,575.

Expenses related to the Route 600 site total $44,100 for site control items and approximately $225 for backup batteries, proximity sensors and power supplies.

Carter said the up front cost to implement the system and new site construction was funded by a few large building permit fees that the county does not get every year, and one-time extra state corporation tax.

“This money is not being spent out of our regular revenue (versus) expenditures,” Carter said.

She added that there is no additional charge to access the gate for county residents who have decals.

“Citizens with valid decals will have 24/7 access to the sites,” Carter said.

The decals are $25.