Trash Pile Keeps PG in the Dumps
By Daniel Parker, Staff Reporter
Mar 17, 2017, 13:38
PRINCE GEORGE — Property value, health problems and an effect on their quality of life, these were the complaints raised by Prince George citizens at the last Board of Supervisors Meeting; when Atlantic Waste Disposal detailed its plan to fix the odor being emitted from the Sussex County Landfill. The self-imposed deadline by the company is June 30th.
Jennifer Carden, Prince George resident, says she’s noticed the smell for four years and that it has only gotten worse, affecting her sinuses. Even when Carden is inside, the stench from the landfill still gets in her home. After years of dealing with the problem Carden is frustrated adding that in her opinion it’s as if nobody is helping deal with the problem.
“Every time you go in and out of your house you’re getting the burning in your throat…” said Jennifer Carden “Your eyes start burning and you end up with hoarseness after it sets in. It does linger.”
Since 2015 the Atlantic Waste Disposal company has been working to fix the odor problem. Joe Cox, site engineer at the Atlantic Waste Disposal Company, said that the origin of the problem came years ago after part of the landfill collapsed from a slide. The company detailed their plan in a presentation to the board: installing a 38 acre temporary synthetic cap on the landfill, along with another 30 acre synthetic cap, 26 new gas collection wells and to begin the operation of an on-site wastewater treatment plant.
In the past, the Department of Environmental Quality, has ordered the company to take certain steps to deal with the problem and fined the company. Bill Hayden, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, said the agency is waiting until the deadline to see whether further action will be taken against Atlantic Waste Disposal.
“Waste management has committed to get this problem resolved by June 30th, said Bill Hayden, spokesman. “We’ll be watching to see.”
Percy Ashcraft, County Administrator, is frustrated about the problem, Prince George has reached out to the Sussex Board of Supervisors to help them take action, but it’s out of their hands as well. Atlantic Waste Disposal is under a state contract, only state officials can take action against the landfill.
“Our main responsibility is to serve the public, but we don’t own the landfill; it’s not in our county,” said Percy Ashcraft. “We have to rely on other people to solve the problem.”
Prince George County’s hands are tied waiting to see if the company-imposed deadline will fix the problem. Ashcraft notes that if isn’t fixed that the complaints will only get worse.
“We’re trying to be cooperative. We’re trying to be patient,” said Ashcraft. “But our citizens have the right to be as upset as they are.”