Since the West Virginia Legislature created County Solid Waste Authorities in 1989 the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority has slowly and methodically implemented its plan to convert a primitive landfill into one of the regions finest Integrated Solid Waste Facilities.
Our first priority was to convert our operation from simply a Landfill into a modern lined facility that would be in compliance with all state and federal guidelines. Today we have just completed construction of Cell #6 which is 9 Acres giving us a total of 23 permitted acres. We are in the final stages of completing the process to increase our permitted area to 80 Acres. We are in the very early stage of study of converting portions of our permitted area to a Bioreactor Landfill. In addition, we have planned for the future by acquiring additional surrounding property increasing our Acreage to 600 A. This will give us enough airspace to satisfy the needs of our citizens well into the next century.
Our second priority was to establishing an Education Program. The creation of a full time position devoted to Schools and to Civic Groups to teach being good stewards to our environment by not utilizing or creating “open dumps” Our philosophy of “YOU CAN’T TEACH THEM TO RECYCLE UNTIL YOU FIRST TEACH THEM NOT TO THROW IT OVER THE HILL” seems to work. With the population base in our service area showing little or no growth the amount of refuse being brought to our landfill has increased by approximately thirty (30) percent.
Our third priority was to establish a full time “Litter Control Crew”. We adopted the philosophy of “NOT JUST TALK ABOUT IT, LETS DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT”. It is important that the citizens in our region see us in action. This program has become our most visible and popular programs.
Our next priority was to build a modern regional recycling facility. This was completed in late 2004. A large portion of the nearly 35,000 sq. ft. is devoted to education. A large “display area” allows us to demonstrate items that con be recycled and products that are made from recycled material. An Education Classroom with theatre style seating, to accommodate 100 children, overlooking the recycling area allows our guests to observe the recycling process in action.
Our final goal of having a Law Enforcement Officer was accomplished in mid 2004. In co-operation with the Raleigh County Commission aided by legislation passed in 2004 we were able to hire a “LITTER CONTROL OFFICER”. Desiring to assure that this phase of our program to be accomplished in a professional manner we chose to hire a retiring certified police officer, Lt. Jim Stone from the Raleigh County Sheriffs Department. It is our belief that this work must be handled in a manner that only a professional officer of the law could.
Future plans call for the creation of Recreation Facilities to be constructed on our closed and reclaimed landfill areas. We are studying the possibility of utilizing the methane gas created in landfill to light the recreation area for nighttime use.