County Moves Ahead With Trash Changes

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Dumpster Sites Closing As New Center Opens

The Fancy Hill recycling and trash collection center is set to open next Wednesday, Nov. 13, and three nearby unmanned Dumpster sites are slated to close in the next two weeks.

Also, as part of Rockbridge County’s solid waste strategic plan that calls for replacing unmanned Dumpster sites with staffed collection centers, a decision has been made to close the Timber Ridge Dumpsters next month.

At a work session prior to its regular meeting last Monday, Oct. 28, the supervisors provided direction to county staff on carrying out the solid waste strategic plan.

In conjunction with the opening of the Fancy Hill collection center at 3985 S. Lee Highway, three unstaffed Dumpster sites are to close – U.S. 11 south at Buffalo Creek on Nov. 13, Rural Valley Road (Va. 691) on Nov. 19 and Bunker Hill Mill Road (Va. 700) on Nov. 21.

Hours of operation for the county’s staffed collection centers are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. The centers are presently closed on Tuesdays, but the supervisors indicated they may be open to the idea of bringing back at least limited hours on Tuesdays.

Tracy Shafer, county recycling manager, estimated that adding a seventh day of operations at the collection centers would cost a little less than $50,000. Not having to clean up unstaffed Dumpster sites that are closing would save at least that much money, suggested Buffalo Supervisor John Higgins.

When a site for a collection center is found in the Natural Bridge Station area, said Natural Bridge Supervisor David Hinty, four unmanned Dumpster sites can be eliminated, in addition to the closure of the existing staffed collection center at Sallings Mountain.

As he has in the past, Higgins expressed frustration that more progress isn’t being made in the northern part of the county with selecting sites for collection centers and making plans for closing Dumpster sites. He asked South River Supervisor Bob Day his thoughts on closing the heavily used Dumpsters on U.S. 11 at Timber Ridge.

Day asked Shafer if the collection centers at Fairfield (6019 N. Lee Highway) and at 260 Greenhouse Road could handle all the traffic that now goes to Timber Ridge. She answered in the affirmative.

Suter was directed to explore the idea of removing the Timber Ridge Dumpsters, in consultation with SCS Engineers, the firm that advises the county on solid waste matters.

In a press release issued by the county on Tuesday, it was announced that the Timber Ridge Dumpsters on U.S. 11 would close Dec. 3.

Higgins said a search is continuing for a collection center site in the vicinity of U.S. 60 and Forge Road outside Buena Vista. If such a site is found, the U.S. 60 site at the boatlocks (Ben Salem Wayside) would close. A lot of Buena Vista residents are now using that site, according to Higgins.

“How many summons are getting issued [to noncounty residents using county Dumpsters]?” asked Day. Suter said he would find out. “It would be helpful if we could get that information,” said Higgins.

Suter reported on cost estimates for developing hybrid collection centers that would be unstaffed but monitored with video technology. He estimated costs, which he acknowledged would vary from site to site, at an average of $179,000 for site work, fencing, concrete pad, compactor and land acquisition. Rockbridge Baths/Walkers Creek, South River and U.S. 60/Forge Road are among the areas that might be considered for hybrid centers.

In Tuesday’s press release it was pointed out that county residents may use the collection centers for depositing all nonhazardous household refuse, bulky items such as furniture and white goods and recyclable items. Commercial use of these sites is not allowed.

The News-Gazette

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