SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) - Landfill operators have given South Hadley one year's notice before they close the town dump.
Last week, Advanced Disposal representatives told the town's selectboard they will be closing the dump in a year's time. Now, residents wonder what will happen to their trash.
"We used to go play in the dump, when I was a kid because I did live close then," said South Hadley resident Jean Allen on Main Street Monday morning.
But since 2003, that has changed. The dump is now close to 405 feet above sea level. It's a man-made mountain of trash, almost half as high as the Mt. Holyoke range.
In a letter to the selectboard, landfill operators said their closing was due, in part, to the town's solid opposition to its expansion plans.
It's a decision that will put in question where the town's trash will go. Under a town agreement with operators, while the landfill is open, the dumping of South Hadley's trash is free. Regulars at the "Egg and I" say once it closes, it's going to cost them.
"I don't know where it's going to go, I just know it's going to cost us money. When it does go, it's going to cost us a whole lot," said Cas Domurat.
South Hadley's DPW Director Jim Reidy told 22News they don't know where the trash will go, but they do know they'll have to pay.
Currently, the town has a green bag program where residents pay $1.00 for 33 gallon bags and fifty cents for smaller ones. He says the town is already looking at different sites but plans are in its preliminary stages.
Knight Machine and Tool is located across the street from the dump. The owner says the closing can't come soon enough.
"I'm sure that the odors are going to start getting a little bit better as they get that landfill capped. The bird population has been a very big problem in this area and I'm hoping that that subsides," said the owner of the high precision machine shop, Gary O'Brien.
O'Brien told 22News that during the summer months, machines would need to be cleaned regularly because of the constant dust wafting into the shop.
Reidy says the town will also lose $800,000 in revenue, fees for accepting trash from out of town and out of state.
The state permits allows for the dumping of 600 tons of trash per day. Landfill operators have scaled back daily limits considerably, fearing they could reach their limit before the year's end. It will take operators at least a year and a half to cap it once they close.