Chesterfield Planning Commission denies landfill expansion plan

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A thumbs down on a plan to expand a Chesterfield landfill. Shoosmith Brothers, located in Chester, wanted to use its rock quarry to store out of state trash, but the county's planning commission voted against it.

About a dozen people who live near the landfill spoke out against the plan, mainly due to the odor issues. They got their wish Tuesday night. Shoosmith Brothers executives say they're disappointed, but this isn't over for them.

Case denied, in a 4 to 1 vote. Shoosmith Brothers wanted to continue taking in out of state trash and store it at its rock quarry. Some planning commission members say even though they believe Shoosmith Brothers runs a clean operation, they worried about how the blasting at the quarry would impact the landfill liners that protect from contamination.  

About a dozen residents complained about the stench. Two stood up and said it wasn't that bad.

"I love Chesterfield County and I don't want it destroyed by a megadump," said Alice Surles.

"When we have cookouts, it's not a fun feeling to have that odor coming over the food," said Margaret Warren.

Shoosmith Brothers' Fletcher Kelly says they have made progress with the odor. Last week, he bought a $28,000 machine that uses a grape scented chemical to neutralize the sulfur in the air. Instead of waiting until the end of the day to cover garbage, Kelly says soil is placed on some areas by noon.

"We're minimizing it. We won't ever guarantee because each load is slightly different and you have to react when it comes in. We think we've minimized it and we work on doing better," said Kelly.

Kelly said he welcomes criticism from the community, and says he's not giving up. He plans to either take the issue back up, with the planning commission or ask the board of supervisors to put the matter on its agenda.

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