Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Raymond E. Graham, Cedar Run District Supervisor

May 8, 2008


Staff Lead:


Mike Dorsey, Director

Environmental Services


Update on Environmental Services Projects

Topic Description:


A.  Beneficial Use of Landfill #149 through Mining – Piggyback Project

Fauquier County is required to begin closing the old landfill (permit #149) as of this summer.  It was apparent after completion of the 2006 solid waste planning effort that when the County proceeds in this direction several steps would need to occur to acquire additional landfill capacity by 2015 – (a) relocation of the Corral Farm convenience center and scalehouse, (b) abandonment of Bingham Road from the College Street intersection, and (c) improve screening between the landfill and surrounding properties. 

Also as part of the 2006 plan conclusions, the County decided to continue receiving construction – demolition (C&D) waste streams and construct a C&D recycling facility to maximize material recovery.  Though C&D deliveries are presently well below system capacity, the C&D sorting system still generates significant net income from tipping fees and recyclable material sales.  

The County’s new C&D recycling system offers the opportunity to recover through mining (excavation) a significant portion of the landfilled C&D materials (soil, metal concrete, plastics, wood) placed between 2001 – 2007, enhance landfill environmental protection systems, defer closure, and reuse an existing site to add 10-20 years of disposal capacity at the current Corral Farm location.   

Mining projects in the solid waste industry are infrequent and require special circumstances to become viable.  However, with the extreme difficulty of siting new solid waste facilities, dramatically increasing fuel and construction costs, and increasing value of recyclable materials, circumstances today are more favorable for additional projects.  In addition to the City of Bristol’s current part-time MSW mining project, many others have already occurred in the United States –

▪  Atlantic County Utilities Landfill, Atlantic City New Jersey in 2004 – 2005 (C&D)

▪  Martone Landfill, Barre Massachusetts in 1992 (MSW, C&D)

▪  Bethlehem Landfill, Bethlehem, New Hampshire in 1991 -1992 (MSW)

▪  Edinburg Landfill, Edinburg, New York in 1990 (MSW)

▪  Frey Farm Landfill, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1991-1993 (MSW, C&D)

The Fauquier County project is most similar in size to the Lancaster project at the Frey Farm Landfill  where 900,000 tons of MSW and C&D materials were recovered in 3 years.  The significant difference is that the Fauquier project makes better economic sense to recover materials a few months annually over 15 years as part of a recycling program rather than supplying waste to an incinerator as in Lancaster County. 

Numerous discussions of the County project have been undertaken with staff from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), County engineers, landfill contractor, equipment vendors, and Pepco (gas-to-electricity) representatives.  In addition, discussions are underway for a grant with Virginia Tech to be able to quantify the recycled material that is recovered.  Through all discussions to date, the mining-piggyback project appears feasible.  Lynn Klappich from Draper Aden & Associates will attend the work session to summarize and answer questions concerning the operations, engineering, regulatory and financial aspects of this project as well as review the mining/piggybacking decision in comparison to closure/post-closure.  Ms. Klappich will also review the FY 2009 engineering work program to include –

▪  engineering for Cell 1

▪  screening, leachate and stormwater improvements

▪  permitting for mining and future landfill capacity

Since screening has become a necessity to minimize the view of the operation and recovered materials from the C&D recycling facility, Ms. Klappich will present the process to allow the development of long-term screening from both US 29 and the entrance road into Lord Fairfax Community College.  The need for screening will continue to grow more critical as the landfill develops new cells and fills at higher levels.

B.  Suggested Collection System Service Reductions

At the last work session on solid waste management, several possible reductions were provided that would lessen operating expenses through the present low tonnage period.  The hand-out of these possible reductions is attached.

At this time, its requested that the Board consider closing all solid waste services on holidays and the collection system for 2 days during the week (Wednesday/Thursday).  The Corral Farm convenience site at the main landfill would remain open seven days a week (except for holidays).  The attached chart illustrates the recommended hours of operation under an optional 40-hour and 28-hour operating week, and tonnage information for each site. 

In response to routinely slow traffic flow and low tonnage, it is also recommended that the recycling site at Remington reduce its current hours of Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday (noon – 5 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to just being open 8-hours weekly on Saturdays.

As shown on the attached chart, these service reductions could reduce operating expenses of the Landfill Enterprise Fund up to approximately $150,000 annually with minimal impact on revenue.  However, several impacts of a significant schedule may occur including - complaints from those residents impacted by the reduced hours, a possible increase in illegal dumping, increased traffic congestion and container-hauling at the Corral Farm site.  Additional impacts would be somewhat higher revenue and decreased hauling costs since some residents would likely switch to private curbside service. 


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

Review progress to date and provide feedback on the Landfill 149 mining project and suggested service reductions.


Financial Impacts Analysis:

None at this time.  After finalizing the direction of landfill #149 mining/piggybacking vs. closure/post-closure, possible service reductions above, and commercial tipping fee increase, the financial plan will be updated and submitted as part of upcoming financial assurance requirements and the department FY10 budget submission.


Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:


Finance Department

Budget Office

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