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In a creative revenue-generating move, the Pittsylvania County landfill has begun accepting solid waste from neighboring localities. Beginning on Jan. 1, First Piedmont Corporation will haul solid waste from Martinsville and Henry County to the Pittsylvania County landfill in Dry Fork. Under this arrangement, Pittsylvania County will receive $30 for every ton, generating nearly $1.4 million in revenue every year.
"Because of our strategic efforts to maximize its efficiency and increase its lifespan, our landfill is one of our greatest assets," said Deputy County Administrator Richard Hicks. "Instead of losing money on the landfill and struggling to pay for any capital improvements to our solid waste infrastructure, we are now creating revenue that will more than cover the costs of improvements.”
Pittsylvania County has worked closely with consultants such as Labella Associates to improve the operations of the landfill. Some of these major improvements include enhancing the compaction abilities, improving proper safety procedures, and ensuring that the operation meets all environmental protocols. For instance, just in the last two years the volume of trash that can be fit into a single square yard has been increased from roughly 1,000 pounds of solid waste to over 1,500.
Even while bringing in approximately 46,000 tons of solid waste annually from Martinsville and Henry County, as well as 15,000 tons from the Town of Bedford, the landfill has an estimated and impressive lifespan of more than 75 years. Revenue received from neighboring localities will not only pay for the landfill's operating and expansion costs, but also cover costs for the improvement of existing convenience centers and even finance the construction of new ones. This money will also be used to cover the costs of expansion into a new cell—an expensive and time-consuming process that is underway.
"We are always trying to improve existing services and sometimes even add new ones without having to raise taxes and fees, and using our landfill to bring in additional revenue is just one example of the many creative revenue streams we have tapped into," said Pittsylvania County Administrator David Smitherman. “Our landfill can generate revenue for our locality and still serve several generations of our citizens.”
Bays Trash Removal began hauling solid waste from the Town of Bedford to the Pittsylvania County landfill in January of this year for a rate of $30 per ton, which yields approximately $450,000 annually. Henry County and Martinsville will provide approximately 40,000 tons of solid waste per year at that same rate of $30 per ton. Pittsylvania County received a permit from the Department of Environmental Quality earlier this month to increase the annual tonnage that comes into the landfill, making way for Martinsville and Henry County to begin sending solid waste.