Landfill reduces hours

Published 11:56 pm Friday, October 2, 2009

Starting today, weekend hours at the Suffolk landfill will be cut to help its parent trash agency save money.

The Southeastern Public Service Authority regional landfill in Suffolk will now be open for public use from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and will be closed all day on Sundays.

“This new policy will standardize Saturday hours for all SPSA facilities and is part of a cost-reduction initiative expected to save the regional waste authority and its member communities approximately $150,000 per year,” SPSA spokesman Tom Kreidel stated Friday in a release announcing the change. The landfill will continue to be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The move will make it even more difficult for Suffolk residents needing to dispose of bulk waste to do so for free, council members noted during their retreat last week.

“This will create more problems for residents,” Councilman Leroy Bennett said. “Saturday and Sunday are the only days most people are able to do maintenance around the house.”

Suffolk instituted a new policy for the disposal of bulk waste on July 1, which has sparked anger among many residents, who say it is an extra burden on taxpayers and was not well publicized.

Suffolk residents now must pay $20 or $50, depending on the size of their pile, to have waste picked up at the curb by a Suffolk truck. Those who don’t want to pay the fee have to fit the waste into their regular trash cans, if possible, donate it to a charity that will pick it up, or haul it to the landfill themselves.

The decrease in hours will make that last option even more difficult for working families.

Council members at the retreat discussed ways they could mitigate the effect of the change.

Councilman Jeffrey Gardy inquired about the possibility of paying the trash authority to reinstate the extra shift.

“If you want it to continue, council has to designate funds,” City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn said.

Councilman Charles Brown favored finding a way to help Suffolk residents adjust to the changes.

“I want to find some way to work with our citizens,” he said.

City Council made no decisions at the retreat. Any proposal to change city policy or pay SPSA for the extra shift would be made in a council meeting.