County seeks new landfill director

By Alex Bridges

WOODSTOCK — Shenandoah County officials revived the top official position at the landfill to oversee the facility near Edinburg and related operations.

County administration will begin the recruitment and selection process for a director of solid waste this week. The person in the position would oversee all aspects of the county’s solid-waste collection, disposal and recycling.

In a news release on Tuesday, County Administrator Mary Beth Price cited increased federal and state regulations on landfills and related projects at the facility as a reason to revive and fill the position.

Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass said Tuesday the recent retirement of longtime landfill employee Daniel Sine freed up a position and created the opportunity to reorganize the staffing at the facility.

The number of full-time employees working at the landfill will not change. The resulting vacancy also freed up some, but likely not enough, money to pay a director, Vass said. The county might need to spend $10,000-$20,000 more than available but officials won’t know the exact amount until they select a director, Vass added. The county is taking applications through Nov. 14, and is advertising a salary range of about $60,000-$70,000.

“I think realistically we’re looking at the first of the year before we have somebody on staff,” Vass said. “If that can be advanced, that’s wonderful.”

Operations Manager Brad Dellinger has overseen landfill operations since the director position became vacant in 2005. Dellinger will return to daily field supervision of the equipment and labor at the landfill once the county fills the position, the release states.

Dellinger came under fire recently as two members of the Board of Supervisors questioned the purchase of a bulldozer for the landfill. Supervisors Cindy Bailey and Marsha Shruntz questioned whether or not Dellinger and other county officials took steps to find a cheaper bulldozer. The majority of the board expressed support for Dellinger and his decision.

The discussions about the bulldozer did not play a role in the country administration’s decision to revive and fill the director’s position, Vass said.

“There’s no corollary between that particular subject and this reorganization,” Vass said. “It was an opportunity created by a retirement [of] a full-time staff member in recognition of the challenges of running a modern landfill, with the environmental regulations associated with it, the opportunity to allow the operations manager to utilize his strengths in the field with equipment and labor and service delivery, and puts somebody in the position that preferably has some type of environmental background and experience in municipal solid waste.”

The landfill employs 17 full-time equipment operators, laborers and drivers, mechanics and administrative support staff.

The county and the landfill have taken steps in the last several years to comply with environmental regulations. Such steps include the installation of a system that contains and destroys landfill gas; frequent monitoring of groundwater quality around the landfill; and the collection of leachate from the disposal site the county treats at the North Fork Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The county also plans to build a new disposal cell at the landfill beginning next year. The project should allow the county to use the landfill through 2046. The landfill can take up to 500 tons of solid waste per day though it averages about 100 tons per day.

Visit www.ShenandoahCountyVA.us/landfill for more information.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com