Closed landfill still taking trash

July 31, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

LEETOWN, W.Va. - Household trash can still be taken to the Jefferson County Landfill although it is officially closed, a county Solid Waste Authority official said Wednesday.

"The public just doesn't know we're still open," said Jefferson County Solid Waste Authority spokeswoman Bev Grove.

The county solid waste authority continues to operate a transfer station for household and industrial trash which is placed into trash bins, Grove said.

Dump trucks pick up the trash and haul it to landfills in Hedgesville, W.Va., and Pennsylvania, Grove said.

The landfill's closure on July 8 was widely reported and many residents apparently believed that they could no longer take trash there.


Grove estimated that business is down more than a third since the landfill's closure was reported.

"Our telephones are ringing constantly with people asking, `Are you open or closed?'" Grove said.

The county solid waste authority started the transfer station about four years ago when the state told Jefferson County officials that the landfill had to be closed.

The landfill had severely contaminated the area's ground water.

For the past four years, work has been under way to seal off the landfill and officials celebrated the closure on July 8.

A 36-inch thick layer of clay was put over the landfill and holding tanks were installed to collect the leachate from the buried trash and ground water.

Grove said the Jefferson County Solid Waste Authority is required by the state Solid Waste Authority to monitor 60 acres of the site for the next 30 years.

The nonprofit organization relies on the fees from the transfer station to pay for the monitoring work as well as operating the trash collection center.

The transfer station is open from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The transfer station also collects yard waste such as branches, brush and grass clippings that can no longer be put into landfills under a new state law, Grove said.

The transfer station has a grinder that chops the yard waste into mulch that is sold for $5 for a backhoe bucket load.

The county authority had provided the mulch free of charge to the county parks and other groups, but had to start selling the mulch to cover the cost of the equipment and workers, she said.

The county solid waste authority also is seeking a state grant to expand the recycling program at the transfer station, she said.

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