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King George Landfill is buzzing with activity as the amount of trash increases and workers undertake construction projects
Crews prepare to cap a 10-acre cell at the King George Landfill. More trash will be added before it is closed for good.
photos by PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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By CATHY DYSON
If the amount of trash coming to the King George Landfill is an economic indicator, times are getting better.
Thomas Cue, district manager of the regional facility, told the King George County Board of Supervisors recently that "our tonnage is trending upwards, which is great. That's a good sign of everything."
In April, trucks from across the region brought 113,000 tons of household trash and construction waste to the landfill. The total was even higher the next month: 125,000 tons.
"That was the highest two months, back to back, that we've seen, probably in the last four years," Cue said.
The tonnage is quite the contrast to 2010 and 2011, when the landfill fell short of its annual maximum limit.
As part of its agreement with King George County, Waste Management can accept 1.24 million tons of trash a year. That's an average of 104,000 tons of trash a month.
The county gets $5 for each ton, which amounts to about $6.4 million in revenue when the landfill operates at capacity.
It was 20,000 tons below the limit in 2010 and 120,000 tons under the next year, Cue said. The smaller amounts tend to be typical of a recession, when there's less construction--and the waste that goes with it--and people hold on to appliances and devices instead of buying new ones.
But activity is buzzing again at the landfill, and it's not just because trucks are trekking down State Route 3 east.
Four construction projects are under way. One portion of the landfill is being closed permanently as another is opened. Workers are finishing a $12 million system to eliminate hydrogen sulfide, a byproduct of decomposing coal ash, which has the unpleasant aroma of rotten eggs.
And Waste Management is keeping its promise to King George to build a new convenience center near the existing one at State Route 206, next to the former landfill.
"There will be a beautiful paved road in and out, and it should be open the first week of July, weather permitting," Cue told the supervisors about the new center. "We're very optimistic about it. It should be quite nice."
'AN ODOR OR TWO'