Closing and capping the Botetourt County landfill translates directly into a $5 million project— one the county has to complete by 2021 for one cell and 2025 for another.

The Board of Supervisors hoped it was on track to cover most of that cost late last year when it decided to get back into the landfill business rather than pony up $5 million to join the Roanoke Valley Resource Authority (RVRA) by June 2019 in order to keep sending county trash to that authority’s transfer station in Hollins.

A problem loomed, though. What to do with county trash after the landfill was closed; a can the supervisors reluctantly kicked down the road in the hopes of avoiding that $5 million buy-in to the RVRA.

Tuesday afternoon, the supervisors were presented with another strategy that would take the county out of the landfill business and provide a place for county trash for the foreseeable and distant future.

To accommodate that strategy, the supervisors agreed to advertise a text amendment to the county zoning ordinance that would allow a trash transfer station in an industrial zoned district.

That change would provide a zoning option for the supervisors to consider a proposal from County Waste of Southwest Virginia LLC (CWSV) to enter into a public-private solid waste services partnership with the county.

CWSV, in March 21 documents, proposed taking over the county landfill operations and at the same time getting county approval to open a solid waste transfer station on nearly 5 acres it owns on US 11 in Cloverdale. The property is already zoned M-2 Industrial.

CWSV would essentially handle the county’s solid waste disposal and recycling under the proposal, including operating and then closing the county landfill.

According to its proposal, CWSV already has engineering done on its site for a transfer station that could be operational in eight months from approval.

CWSV also proposed having an initial tipping fee that’s 10 percent lower than the RVRA’s current fees.

The privately held company that has its local headquarters in Lynchburg provides non-hazardous solid waste and recycling collection, transfer, processing, and disposal in several areas of Virginia and in Pennsylvania. It says in its proposal it does not need county financial contributions nor other financing options to put the proposal in operation.

Under Virginia procurement regulations, to consider the proposal, the supervisors had to follow the procedures in the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA).

That includes opening up the process to other companies that may want to present similar or other proposals through competitive negotiations.

The supervisors also passed resolution to proceed with using the PPEA and appointing a PPEA advisory committee Tuesday afternoon. That committee would look at a variety of impacts on the county, characteristics of the project, operations, feasibility, permitting, cost and cost benefit to the county, financing, life-cycle cost analysis, impacts on the county franchised solid waste haulers, etc.

The proposal, if it evolves, could mean as much as a $10 million savings to the county over time— considering the cost of closing the landfill and the prospects of having to join the RVRA in order to have a place for the county’s trash.