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Regional landfill idea proposed in Eastern Panhandle

July 09, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - The Berkeley County Commission on Thursday discussed the possibility of opening a regional landfill for Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties to resolve garbage capacity issues and to make solid waste operations more efficient.

All three counties would need permission from the state Public Service Commission in Charleston, W.Va., to haul their own trash.

"If we wanted to build a landfill ... the only way we could do it is be our own hauler," Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority Chairman Clint Hogbin said during the commission meeting.

Waste Management is the only hauler for the three Eastern Panhandle counties.

"They've got complete control," County Commission President Steve Teufel said after the meeting. "Nobody else can do anything."

Teufel raised the regional landfill possibility at the meeting, during which representatives from Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties gathered to discuss solid waste issues.

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The landfill servicing the three counties, LCS Services Inc. near Hedgesville, W.Va., has been regularly hitting its monthly garbage limit of 9,999 tons.

Hogbin said after the meeting that hitting the limit has caused the landfill to shut down from one to three days a month.

"That's been leaving municipalities and people who haul their own waste no place to go," Hogbin said.

The state Department of Environmental Protection, however, ordered the landfill to remain open in June so there wouldn't be any interruptions in garbage collection and plans to do the same in July if the facility hits its limit again.

Teufel said during the meeting that if a regional landfill opens, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties should be the only counties to use it.

Hogbin questioned whether the counties would have the right to keep outside haulers out.

"If they can do it in Frederick County, Va., why can't we do it in Berkeley County?" Teufel asked.

Hogbin said it might be possible to accept garbage only from haulers who contract with the counties.

Terry Courtwright, Jefferson County Solid Waste Authority chairman, said during the meeting that Jefferson County is considering increasing its capacity at its transfer station to reduce the amount of garbage going to LCS.

The trash from the transfer station might then be hauled to Virginia, Courtwright said.

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