Please use the trash compactors in Bath County


In Bath County there are some changes in the way the county is now managing its trash.  When the previous solid waste service contract expired, the county had to go out for bids.  And it worked out that Bath ended up with the same contractors as it had before, Jack’s Trash Service and Republic Services.  But with new cost saving measures, some changes have now gone into effect.

Ashton Harrison is the County Administrator in Bath.

“We’ve added a compactor to the West Warm Springs site and we’ve kept one roll off at this time,” says Harrison.  “So far, and it’s only been a month, but so far the compactor hasn’t been used that much.  Republic had offered that to us as a means of helping us save money, because compactors can be hauled a lot less frequently.  And we want to get that message out to the public to please use the compactor for your regular household garbage, stinky trash.   And use that roll off for items that are too big that could possibly jam the compactor.  But please, we are encouraging people to use that compactor.”

Harrison says in fiscal year 2014 Bath County spent a little over one million dollars on trash disposal, 12% of the county budget.  He says beginning in fiscal year 2015 the county is looking at saving $200,000 a year.  One cost saving measure implemented is the hauling of Bath’s trash to the Covington landfill, instead of to Richmond, which provides a saving in fuel costs.   Another cost saving measure is the installation of some compactors. 

“We have a bear problem in Bath County,” says Harrison.  “Compactors help reduce that bear problem.  That was the reason we went to having a compactor both in Millboro and our Valley Springs site and that reduced the bear problem significantly.  But as long as people continue to use that roll off instead of using that compactor, it’s not going to help the bear problem at all.”

And when you use the trash compactors, you are saving the county money in more ways than you may realize. 

“Speaking of the bear issues we’ve had at the West Warm Springs site and how the compactor can help reduce that, earlier this month working with Jack’s Trash and the prisoner labor a hundred bags of trash were collected off site,” says Harrison.  “That’s been up the hill and down by the river.  And that’s a cost.  When we see prisoner crews out there, that’s not for free.  We do pay the Commonwealth of Virginia for that labor and Jack’s Trash for helping managing that.  And they do a wonderful job, but there is a cost.  And not just a financial cost, but there’s a cost to the environment that we want to reduce.”

Harrison says the transfer station is still accepting trash, the same materials as it always has, but the transfer station building is closed.   So now trash has to be unloaded there by hand.  Harrison says an engineering report will be completed to see what can be done with the transfer station building, within Department of Environmental Quality guidelines, because the building  has a couple of problems — cracked concrete inside and a bowing retaining wall.  

If you see overflowing trash at any collection site, Harrison asks that you call the county administrators office at 540-839-7221 in order to get it cleaned up quickly.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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