Higher fees lead to roadside dumping

A stack of mattresses on the side of Moorefield Road, around the corner from the county landfill entrance.

Some residents who apparently didn’t want to pay new county fees have been leaving their mattresses and tires on the side of the road, a stone’s throw from the landfill entrance.

Doug Williams, who lives on Moorefield Road, gathered several mattresses he found in the roadside ditches into a pile, hoping state highway workers would come by and collect them. He said that a week later, as many as 15 mattresses and numerous tires are still littering the road.

“It just seems like it’s gotten worse since they raised the prices,” he said. “It’s an eyesore for us.”

Fees for mattress or box spring and tire disposal went into effect on July 1. It used to be free to drop mattresses and one set of tires per day, but now it costs $12 per mattress and between $2.50 and $20 per tire, depending on the tire size and whether it has a rim.

White goods such as refrigerators or washers and dryers, which used to also be free, now cost $12.50 to dispose of. Williams did not mention seeing any of these on his road.

Another fee change is a reduction in the amount of residential waste and brush that can be disposed of for free.

The Louisa County Board of Supervisors voted to impose the fees at their Feb. 19 meeting as a means of covering increased solid waste operations costs. At the same meeting, the board voted to raise additional revenue by taking over collection of solid waste from Louisa County Public Schools.

Alan Saunders, Virginia Department of Transportation resident engineer, said the dumping on the side of the road is a direct result of the increased county fees.

On many local roads, his agency is somewhat limited in its ability to collect mattresses, tires and other trash because it only has legal access to three feet beyond the pavement. Anything strewn beyond roadside ditches is typically on someone else’s property.

“We do get work orders to remove litter. It is a shame that someone would do that. We have to stop doing whatever else we’re doing, and it’s a safety hazard for our employees and to the traveling public,” Saunders said.

Williams, who is over age 65, said he doesn’t mind organizing the trash for collection, but he hopes he doesn’t have to do it every week.

“I’m getting up in age to be crawling around in ditches,” he said.


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