Petersburg landfill forced to pay fine for landslide

Petersburg landfill forced to pay fine for landslide

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - It's not every day you hear of trash spilling over from the top of a landfill, but that's exactly what happened in Petersburg and now the company is slapped with a hefty fine.

It happened at the Tri-City Regional Landfill, where owners are now working to address other issues cited by the state.

You can see it from miles away.

"It looks like a man made-mountain with trash on it," said Sam Wingfield.

He passes the Petersburg landfill several times a week. He doesn't just notice the trash, there's also the odor.

"It ain't too good," he added.

And now, the company is being slapped with a $45,767 fine due to a landslide back in May. The company says that was a first.

"If it fell one time, what are they going to do to keep it from falling again?" asked Katrina Wingfield who is also concerned.

NBC12 took that question straight to the CEO.

"From day one, we went into restoration mode," said Rob Guidry with Container First Services.

He says it all happened as the landfill was in the middle of a multi-million dollar makeover. Crews were working to cover parts of the landfill to make it more pleasing to the eye. Then, there was a state-issued mandate to reduce the area where solid waste is dumped. Crews were working on both when the trash spilled over in the wee hours of the morning.

"We're glad we didn't have any environmental impact. We didn't get anybody hurt which is the top priority at this organization," he said.

It cost the company a million extra dollars to get it under control.

"Compacting it at a slope angle that we know is dead on... and putting in the proper weighted soil as we've gone through this process and I think as you can see from the site, it's a much improved look," Guidry said.

Leaders say the goal is to cover the landfill with grass to give it a cleaner feel from the outside, even after trash is dumped.

"That would look beautiful… It wouldn't look like a man-made mountain," Wingfield added.

Right now there is a public comment period where anyone can write in to the Department of Environmental Quality about this issue. The state is giving the landfill until October to resolve this matter.

In addition to addressing the state's concerns, the landfill is also expanding to make room for more service. The landfill employs nearly 200 people.

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