Annual Operation Report Estimates Pocahontas Landfill Has 2.7 Years Service Left

At the January 31st meeting of the Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority, the members approved the 2023 Annual Operation Report. This report, prepared by Potesta engineering, estimates that the county’s landfill still has 2.7 years of useful life before it becomes too full to accept more trash.

Over the past year the authority has discussed possible options for trash disposal in the county once the landfill is closed, including putting in an expensive transfer station to collect waste and ship it to other landfills outside the county, paying their tipping fees in addition to the collection and shipping costs here. Another option discussed was to simply collect trash at the green boxes and haul it to other landfills. One option not given serious consideration would be to open another landfill in the county, since finding another landfill site in Pocahontas County is highly unlikely, and even if one is found, it would take many years, and be outrageously expensive to acquire the land, obtain the necessary permits and get a new landfill up and running.

While those discussions were happening, it was unknown just exactly when the current landfill would become unusable. Now, with the release of this operational report, there is a reasonable estimate of 2.7 years.

Ed Riley, the Chairman of the authority pointed out at the meeting that this timeline is still only based on a reasonable estimate. It still depends on the actual amount of solid waste being brought into the landfill in the future. If more is brought in then predicted, it could shorten the usable life of the landfill, while less could lengthen its lifespan. Riley also pointed out that there is some dirt in the landfill that can possibly be removed and also, they can regrade parts of the landfill, both of which could possibly add more time to the life of the landfill.

In any event, Jacob Meck of Allegheny Disposal told this reporter after the meeting that this report’s 2.7-year estimate is good news as it buys additional time to figure out the next steps for trash disposal in the county after the landfill becomes unusable.

There has been discussions and negotiations over the past year about the authority buying the current landfill, which is now leased. Most of the authority’s members felt that it is important to own the land even after the landfill is finished, since they will need to continue to use the site for a possible transfer station, as well as for their tire and other recycling.

Jacob Meck announced that a survey has been done of the landfill and an actual plat of the site will be ready in a couple of weeks. There were continuing discussions about what would be included in any sale and what would not be included. Those might be resolved when the plat is finally received.

Also at this meeting:

  • The members re-elected Ed Riley as Chairman and David Henderson as Vice-chairman, and reappointed Mary Clendenen as the authority’s Secretary/Treasurer.
  • The financial report showed the authority is meeting its budget estimates for the fiscal year. With 50% of the fiscal year remaining, their income and expenses are at about 49% of their budget.
  • They are required by the state to install a new downgradient groundwater monitoring well, but will have to re-advertise this as no certified company responded with a bid.
  • They approved requiring anyone depositing demolition waste at the landfill to produce an asbestos inspection report that certifies there is no asbestos in that rubble. This is required by the West Virginia Department of the Environment (DOE)
  • Cristopher McComb, the Landfill Manager reported that the new scales are installed and basically working, except the time stamp is not accurate, so they have to write the time in and the time out on the ticket.


Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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