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County to export trash

December 22, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Washington County will be without a landfill for at least 45 days next fall and will have to haul its trash elsewhere, according to the county Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

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The existing landfill, Resh Sanitary Landfill, is scheduled to close Nov. 1, 2000, because it will be full.

The Lund Landfill that is replacing Resh won't be ready for use until about Dec. 15, said Commissioner William J. Wivell, a member of the landfill committee.

The committee's estimate is based on information from Public Works Director Gary Rohrer and Landfill Director Robert Davenport.

Davenport is writing a report suggesting a back-up plan in case the county is without a landfill for more than a month. He said he did not want to talk about that plan publicly until he finishes it next month.

"Any exporting will most likely be to a Pennsylvania location but it will be subject to negotiations and approval by the Board of County Commissioners. We see this as an operating issue and intend to have a firm grasp on the matter," Rohrer said.

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No estimate of the cost of dumping the county's garbage elsewhere was available.

About 6,000 tons a month are dumped at the landfill, according to Wivell.

Forty-five days without a landfill is the "best case scenario," Wivell said. "It could be up to three months."

County Administrator Rodney Shoop said the county is hoping to get some flexibility on the opening date of the new landfill. He'll brief the County Commissioners in early January on that effort.

The 425-acre Lund Landfill is in a bend of the Conococheague Creek near the Resh landfill. The bridge and road being built for the Lund Landfill are scheduled to open September 2000 at a cost of about $4.4 million, Rohrer said. Construction is ongoing.

"We've been telling people for 10 years that this is a very complex project and would consume enormous time in preliminary engineering and permitting but I don't think anyone appreciated our concerns, until now," Rohrer said.

The landfill opening date has been delayed for various reasons, including funding decisions by prior boards of County Commissioners, an agreement to build the costly bridge and access road and hurdles put up by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Army Corps of Engineers, Rohrer said.

These delays included studies and an agreement related to a 19th century cemetery at the landfill, he said.

The county bought the landfill property from Wendell Lund, a Washington, D.C., attorney, in 1990.

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