SPSA board ponders garbage after 2018

Published 6:51 am Saturday, October 1, 2011


CHESAPEAKE—The eight member communities of the regional trash authority, which includes Franklin and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties, should make a decision in the next three years whether they want to stick together past 2018, a consultant said Wednesday.

SCS Engineers was hired to study the feasibility and desire of the communities to continue beyond the contractual end date of the Southeastern Public Service Authority.

Bob Gardner of SCS said that generally the communities to the west are more interested in breaking off and contracting with Waste Management to take their trash to its Waverly landfill, while the eastern communities mostly want to continue cooperating.

“We think that future cooperation of the member communities obviously has some value,” Gardner said.

He presented a summary of the report at the SPSA board meeting Wednesday.

But future cooperation among the communities depends on which communities will participate, how much they will pay, where trash will be disposed, how the management will be composed and other decisions.

Gardner also recommended that the Suffolk landfill be kept under government control, rather than being sold to a private entity.

“That regional landfill, publicly owned, is a huge asset,” he said. “It still has about 30 years of capacity if additional cells are constructed.”.

Projected tipping fees — the cost localities pay to dispose of household waste — would be about $80 per ton in 2019 and $110 per ton in 2027. The fee currently stands at $145.

SPSA should pay off its remaining debt by 2018, so that is not expected to stand in the way.

“The SPSA debt is going to be retired, and we all know that’s a big deal,” Gardner said.

He will be making presentations to all eight local governments in the next two months, he said.

“Most of these decisions have to be made by the local governments before we can make any decisions about who’s in, who’s out,” said Chairman Joseph Leafe, who represents Norfolk on the board.

Gardner recommended making a decision by 2014.