Warning: Don’t take your trash to Surry

Published 12:46 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

SURRY—Get caught dumping trash in Surry County when you don’t live in Surry County, and it will now cost you up to $50.

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Get caught dumping again, and that penalty could grow to $200.

The Surry County Board of Supervisors approved a new ordinance outlawing out-of-county refuse following a public hearing Thursday, Sept. 7, an attempt to decrease the tonnage accumulating at county refuse centers, which had been starting to weigh on the county financially. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Sanitation Supervisor Hermione Slade addressed the Board in August, stating that the amount of garbage being collected at the county’s four refuse centers is growing. 

In 2016, the county disposed of 3,662 tons of refuse at a cost of $23.30 per ton. So far this year, the county has already generated more than 2,000 tons of refuse, with an increased cost of $23.97 per ton, according to the minutes for the Aug. 3 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Slade estimated that out of 20 loads deposited at the landfill, an average of five were likely made up of refuse coming in from outside of the county.

Attendants of the Mantura Road waste station in Surry noticed an increase in dumping on days when Isle of Wight County refuse centers are closed, according to Slade’s report.

Prior to the establishment of the new ordinance, it was not illegal for anyone to dump in Surry refuse centers, according to County Attorney William Hefty.

The ordinance declares that residents and property owners in Surry County “shall provide proper documentation of residence status or ownership of property upon request” when dropping off at the collection sites.

The ordinance does not include the issuance of decal stickers for county residents, according to County Administrator Tyrone Franklin at the meeting. A possible decal program to identify county residents at the sites will be put on the agenda for the Board to discuss at its October meeting, Franklin said.

At the public hearing, Mike Eggleston of Dendron said that he sees a steady stream of cars coming from Wakefield to use the waste site in Dendron.

“All I can say is it’s about time,” he said of the new ordinance.

Helen Eggleston of Dendron also said that she’s observed the Dendron refuse center being “abused” by people from outside of the county.

“We need those stickers, and we need them as soon as you can get them for us, so that we can stop this,” she said of decals to the Board.

Asked by Claremont District Supervisor Giron Wooden whether citizens would be warned of the new law, Franklin said the county would provide the appropriate signage about the change at its centers.

“They will be fully warned about the risk that they take,” said Franklin of illegal dumpers.

Carsley District Supervisor Kenneth Holmes said that he knows of at least one Surry resident who prefers to dump at Waverly refuse centers, because the disposals are not as high off the ground as they are in Surry’s centers, so there’s less lifting and chucking.  {/mprestriction}