- The last active landfill in Virginia's Accomack County will likely reach capacity by the end of the year as the site awaits state approval for an expansion.
- Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) originally indicated it would take up to a year for an expansion permit to be reviewed. The county submitted its application in February 2015 and has now been told that a permit may not be approved for three more months.
- The county says it's only option is to export waste more than 50 miles away to the Bethel Landfill in Hampton at a higher cost.
The county says it has been working on this expansion project since 2012 and bears no fault for the delay. Whomever is to blame, this situation will now be more expensive than anticipated and highlights the need for proactive planning around landfill capacity.
At least two 20-ton tractor-tailer loads of refuse will now be exported to the Bethel Landfill at an estimated cost of $514 per trip. This option was chosen after three other counties declined to accept Accomack's waste due to lack of space. While this short-term exporting solution may help extend the landfill's capacity, it will require additional money from the site's enterprise fund that is normally intended for maintenance.
A number of other Virginia landfills have been in the news recently. Plans to expand a landfill in Chesterfield County into a quarry met strong opposition last year and have since led to legal action. A coal ash landfill in the same county recently received approval, though has since faced new questions from the DEQ. The Potomac Landfill has been allowed to expand - despite some state opposition - but has agreed to close in 2032.