Green Ridge landfill project moves forward in Cumberland

Published 1:00 am Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Green Ridge landfill project is a couple steps closer to going active. That’s how officials involved with the project’s parent company, Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal, sum up the current status. 

Last November, the company received a Part A approval letter from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. That was the “entrance exam” of sorts, giving them permission to start a solid waste application. Now they’re working on Plan B, which includes outlining the landfill design and operation. 

“Once you get through Part A, which is a major threshold for any potential landfill, you then proceed to what’s known as Part B, which is the specific design of a landfill based on the fact that it’s the suitable site for land,” said Will Shewmake, an attorney with the Norfolk-based law firm Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black (WRVB). WRVB is representing Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal for the project. 

Email newsletter signup

“There’s incredible detail attached to that. It’s exactly how you lay out the landfill, the details and the specifications of how the landfill needs to be built and constructed, and we’re now in that process. That in and of itself is an extensive process,” said Shewmake. 

Green Ridge landfill makes adjustments

Local residents have voiced concerns for years over the project. Some of the concerns that have been incorporated into the Part A approval include only accepting Virginia waste and not relocating Pine Grove Road. 

“We’re glad to do it because the purpose of this landfill was primarily to serve the needs of the hundreds of thousands of customers and customers the county waste has,” said Shewmake. 

With Shoosmith Landfill closing, Shewmake said there is an incredible need for another available landfill in Central Virginia. He said he is concerned about the cost-shift to customers with fewer waste companies in the state. This adds urgency to the project. 

“That obviously by its very monopolistic nature is going to, over time, dramatically increase the cost to not only localities disposing of the waste, but local customers,” said Shewmake. “This can be a replacement that will not only serve customers, but it will also help in terms of saving localities and customers money since they’ll be more competition in the field.”

Shewmake said they are looking to engage with the community and local stakeholders while they’re crafting the Part B application. 

“ I know that we’re conducting outreach, and there will also be outreach as part of the permitting process,” said Shewmake.

What are the next steps?

According to the Department of Environmental Quality website, the public will get the opportunity to provide comments during the solid waste permitting process if and when a draft permit is proposed by Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal. The Part B correspondence will be posted to their website. No public meetings have been scheduled yet, but Shewmake said they intend to communicate with community stakeholders throughout the second part of the process.

“We are continuing the outreach process to folks. We want to report where we are, what we’re planning to do, which is going to ultimately reduce the size and scope of the landfill, and meet their concerns and also have a continued dialogue because we believe outreach is very important,” said Shewmake. “Simply because we have that Part A, which was one of the biggest hurdles, we still want to have that dialogue.”

The Green Ridge Landfill would be on a 1,200 acre site, approximately 1,178 acres. The daily disposal limit would be 1,500 tons – reduced from 5,000 tons per day. Disposal units are still under development and would be permitted under regulation during the Part B process.