Return to story
King George Landfill Director Thomas Cue said the trash compactors at the county's new convenience center will help control odors and birds and reduce wind-blown garbage.
King George Landfill Director Thomas Cue points George Maha to the recycling bin at the county's new convenience center off State Route 205. Cue didn't just give directions; he also helped residents unload trash.
The King George Convenience Center off State Route 205, which opened yesterday, has three bins for household garbage and another for recycling.
By CATHY DYSON
The new King George Convenience and Recycle Center has a homey touch not usually seen at such facilities.
There's a picket fence around the front of it.
"People will eventually drive by this to get to a park," said Thomas Cue, director of the King George Landfill. "I wanted it to look nice."
Cue was at the center at 6 a.m. Monday to mark the opening of the new facility. It's off State Route 205, past the King George Elementary School.
Cue didn't just direct customers to one of four new compactors at the new, paved site. He lifted black bags of garbage from trunks and truck beds, calling it "first day opening help."
He and attendant Arthur Harvey also tried to explain new traffic patterns.
There's one entrance and one exit. Residents can go to either side of four compactors to dump their trash, meaning eight vehicles can unload at once.
Three of the bins are for household garbage and the fourth is for single-stream recycling
"It's very nice, but it is a little confusing," said Beth Pelto, who wasn't sure which trash compactor she was supposed to use. "I think it's great, and once they put up some signs, that'll help."
Another woman waited in her car for Cue to point her in the right direction.
"I don't know where to go," she said.
"Nobody does," Cue said. "It's the first day."
The new center replaces the old facility, just down Henry Griffin Road. There, people waited in line as one person at a time backed up to a container and threw in trash.
The old center was part of the old landfill, which closed when the new regional landfill opened in Sealston in 1996.
All the trash from the old site was hauled to the new one, and the Environmental Protection Agency issued a clean-closure status on the old landfill in 2007.
The county plans to build Purkins Corner Community Park, a 33-acre facility with fields and trails, picnic tables and pavilions, on the site. About $1.6 million has been budgeted for the park, and construction should begin next year.
King George officials had been asking Waste Management, which operates the landfill and convenience center, to build a new center for about four years. When Cue took over as director in March 2010, he pledged to do that as he got odor problems under control at the landfill.
The convenience center cost $1.8 million and was paid for by Waste Management.
"Not a penny of county money," Cue told one man, who was driving a red truck and asking what was wrong with the old site.
Currently, the recycling compactor is on the left side near the exit. Those who dump trash on the right side have to cross in front of other traffic to get to it.
On Monday, one woman dropped off her recycling, exited the center, then circled back into it to dump her household trash at a different bin.
Cue may put one compactor for household trash and one for recycling on each side of the new center. He said he'll see how traffic goes.
There have been mornings when Joseph Rest has waited in line 15 or 20 minutes to dump his trash in the one container at the old facility.
"This looks great, and it's a whole lot cleaner," Rest said. "We'll see how it looks in a couple months."
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425