As Sun Valley landfill prepares to shut down, residents wonder why
Corey Turner doesn’t understand the county’s logic. He came back to his Indian Trail home last Tuesday from the Sun Valley landfill, armed with a sheet of paper saying the facility would be closed within a month. Rather than drive further out to to Monroe, Turner wonders why the county couldn’t keep the only dump on the western side of Union operational.
“I get that there’s a budget problem,” Turner said. “But why do away with something like this? They could have easily raised the price per bag of trash and kept it going.”
During budget discussions this year, county commissioners decided to close down some of the landfill facilities in operation. They reached an agreement with the towns of Unionville and New Salem to keep the New Salem facility, 7910 Hwy 218, operational on Saturdays. That facility, starting Oct. 1, will only be running between 7 a.m and 7 p.m on Saturdays. They failed however to reach an agreement to keep the Sun Valley site, 1407 Wesley Chapel Road, going.
“Why can’t they just leave it open on Saturdays?” Indian Trail resident Jim Theriault asked. “Now the closest one for a lot of us is at Parkwood. That extra gas bill adds up, at a time when people are trying to cut back.”
Compared to driving, Theriault said, he would be glad to pay more, in order to save on gas money.
“Even if it jumps to 75 cents per bag, that’s still a very convenient site,” Theriault said. “I’ve got a family of four and it only costs me between $40 to $50 per year to dump there.”
Currently it costs 25 cents per bag to dump trash at the Sun Valley site. Indian Trail Town Manager Joe Fivas said his board looked at partnering with the county to keep the site operational, but couldn’t make it work financially.
“The county’s analysis indicated that the site would lose substantial funds in (the) current and future years,” Fivas said. As part of this year’s budget discussions, Indian Trail officials decided to look at another option, to help fill the void left by the landfill’s closing.
“The Town will be bidding out its full service municipal waste and recycling services within the next several months and will likely look at options to fill the lost service gaps in these types of services for all Town residents.”
Both Theriault and Turner said they each looked into paying for a garbage service, but couldn’t justify the cost.
“Garbage pickup is expensive,” Theriault said. “I don’t see how that’s better than just leaving (the landfill) open on Saturdays.”
The Sun Valley site will close its doors effective Oct. 1.