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Landfill official proposes cash-for-trash plan
King George landfill director has an unusual proposition: Able-bodied members of groups that want donations can pick up trash in return for cash

Date published: 8/23/2012

By CATHY DYSON

Thomas Cue, the director of the King George Landfill, gets about 20 to 30 requests a month for donations.

He presented a novel idea to the King George County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. What if the groups pick up some trash in exchange for the cash?

Board Chairman Cedell Brooks Jr. wanted to make sure he heard right.

"So the only way you're gonna get a donation now is you're gonna have to work on the side of the road?" Brooks asked.

Cue said there will always be groups, such as Wounded Warriors, that he and his bosses would never say no to when they sought donations.

"But if the football team wants new helmets, yeah, let's let them pick up trash," Cue said.

Cue wanted to see what the supervisors thought of his idea, and members let him know this wasn't a decision for them to make. They said they're not responsible for the safety of anyone picking up litter along State Route 3, near the entrance to the landfill.

"But I think what you're proposing is phenomenal," said Supervisor Ruby Brabo, noting that Cue should make sure participants sign waivers and have adult supervision.

Supervisor John LoBuglio also liked the approach.

"I think it's a great way of showing the young people it's better to put in some work and not just be asking for a donation," he said.

Cue said he gets requests from high school groups and dance teams and from those involved in music, academic and sports contests as well as from adult groups.

He's vigilant about keeping the roads around the landfill clear of litter that blows off trucks, so there's always a need for patrols. He said he's not obligated to pick up trash on Route 3, but does anyway.

He will supply helmets, vests, bags and pickers, the devices that can be used to retrieve soda cans, diapers and lottery tickets from the ground. The organizers would have to provide insurance and adult supervision, Cue said.

22 NEW GAS WELLS

Cue also told the supervisors the landfill continues to take measures to control odors caused by hydrogen sulfide.

As workers close down one area and open another, they're installing 22 new gas wells with 6,000 feet of pipe to catch any landfill gases.


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