STATE ROAD — Surry County residents will have a place to put their trash for at least the next three decades after commissioners approved a plan to move forward with an expansion at the landfill.
In February, the Surry County Board of Commissioners, at its annual planning retreat held in State Road, gave its consent to push ahead in opening two new cells at the county’s landfill.
“The expansion will cover us for the next 34 years,” Public Works Director Dennis Bledsoe told county commissioners. “You will get 20 years there and 14 going up.”
Bledsoe explained the county has about two years of capacity left before it will have to expand or begin building a road which ascends around the cell being used in order to pile trash higher.
Bledsoe and contracted engineer Wayne Sullivan showed commissioners their plan to maximize capacity for dollars spent at the landfill. There are two cells planned to the south of the landfill area being used. The county could save money by digging both at the same time.
The two new cells would provide the capacity needed to dump Surry County’s trash for the next two decades. After that, the trash could be piled higher for an additional 14 years in capacity.
“There is substantial cost-savings in doing both at one time,” remarked Chairman Eddie Harris.
County Manager Chris Knopf noted the debt the county incurred from building the cell being used now from 1998 will soon roll off of the county’s books.
In the public works director’s notes to the board, he estimates the project cost as presented would be about $5.7 million. The funding will come from the public works fund, which is a self-sustaining enterprise operated with revenues from landfill fees.
Before commissioners unanimously approved the plan, Bledsoe also noted the county would only have to navigate the permitting process once to achieve the same result of two new cells being added. One permit from the state will last the duration of the more than three decades the facility will serve Surry County residents.
The two new cells are part of a bigger plan Bledsoe has in mind for the landfill to maximize the nearly 132 acres on which the operation sits.
Once the cells are full, as noted, the county will begin piling the trash upwards, said Bledsoe. That will require winding roads to be built along the sides of the dump.
Bledsoe explained he would like to move the scales and entry point for the facility to the other side of the property, with access from Sheep Farm Road. The elevation on that side of the property would require less roads once trash begins to be piled on top.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.