COLONIAL HEIGHTS — A reported delay in residential trash pick-up throughout the city could be linked to the ongoing dispute and pending lawsuit the state has filed against the owners of the Tri-City Regional Landfill, and is out of the hands of Colonial Heights, a city official said last week.
Public Works Director William E. Henley told City Council last week that CFS Inc., which has the contract with Colonial Heights for residential trash service, is having to take the trash to a CFS-owned landfill an hour away while the company and the state clash over the future of the landfill on Puddledock Road in Petersburg. A decision is expected in October on the status of the case, stemming from last month’s administrative hearing on the operation of the local landfill.
“That’s not Colonial Heights’ problem, I understand,” Henley told councilors. “But that’s what’s delaying them. They’re having to go out to Lunenburg County, and that’s a 45-minute to an hour trip.”
Recently, residents had taken their complaints to council about trash not being picked up or delayed in pick-up over a recent 12-day period.
Colonial Heights has a strict policy that waste containers cannot be placed in the street until 7 p.m. the night before collection. They must be removed after emptying.
Some of those waste containers that went uncollected were left in the street, council was told.
In response, councilors said it will be CFS, not the residents, who will be held liable for violating the city policy.
During the discussion on the trash, City Attorney Hugh P. Fisher III updated council on the proceedings thus far in the court case.
“I have no idea why it would take that long, but the hearing officer has until Oct. 7 to make a recommendation and then [the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality] itself has to make a decision based on that recommendation 30 days thereafter,” Fisher said.
The attorney general claims CFS has repeatedly violated requests to cover the trash at the landfill in an effort to curb odor and unsightliness and is seeking civil damages. DEQ has said it wants the landfill shut down completely and asked for the administrative hearing to determine the company’s competence to remain operating the landfill.
Since December, the Tri-City Landfill has ceased taking trash. Waste collected in all of the areas served by CFS is being taken to Lunenburg, where CFS operates another landfill.
Fisher said it appears that the civil case has been put on hold until the administrative hearing has been decided.
“I think the feeling will be that the action will be moot if the landfill is closed down,” Fisher said.
Sean Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-722-5172.