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Hours to be reduced at landfill transfer stations

January 30, 2012|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

Washington County is cutting back operating hours at its four landfill transfer stations to help reduce operating costs in the county’s Solid Waste Department, county spokeswoman Sarah Lankford Sprecher said.

Starting Feb. 13, the transfer stations at Dargan, Greensburg, Hancock and Kaetzel will be closed on Mondays and will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The stations already are closed on Sundays.

The current hours vary, but the change will mean most stations will be open at least 30 fewer minutes per day.

The landfill transfer stations are staffed drop-off points for trash and recyclables from county residents. Users must hold a permit to drop off trash, but the recycling bins are open to all county residents.

To offer another option for transfer station users, permit holders may use the Forty West Landfill on Mondays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., a county press release said.

There will be no change in daily or hourly operations at the Forty West Landfill, the release said.

The schedule change at the transfer stations is expected to reduce overtime by about 47 hours per week, resulting in a potential savings of more than $40,000 a year, Sprecher said.

“The residential solid waste permit program, which includes the transfer stations, is subsidized through landfill user fees,” Sprecher said. “Landfill tonnages and revenue have been steadily decreasing in recent years, and this decrease is forecast to continue, especially with the loss of waste and revenue from the City of Hagerstown.”

On Jan. 1, the city switched to a new trash-collection contractor which takes the garbage to a landfill in Pennsylvania. Last year, tipping fees from the city at Forty West Landfill totaled more than $600,000, or about 10 percent of the landfill’s tipping fee income, Sprecher said previously.

“These revenue decreases make it even more imperative that we look closely at each program we operate and do what we can to bring our operating costs more in line with revenue so as to not increase landfill or permit program rates further,” Sprecher said.

Monday was chosen as the day to close the stations because it is more efficient to have the sites closed for two consecutive days, she said.

Sprecher said the county government thanks citizens who use the transfer stations for their patience and understanding during the transition to the new hours.

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