Landfill operations continue during crisis

By Kelsey Kimbler -

PREBLE COUNTY — Preble County Engineer Kyle Cross discussed landfill operations with the Preble County Commissioners during their meeting on Monday, March 23.

He explained, the landfill is essential and has to remain open for the public. There are three different routes they could take to handle operations:

•Continue business as usual without any changes.

•Run the landfill on split shifts with three employees at a time.

•Complete shutdown of the landfill.

At this time, the landfill is running on split shifts with three employees per week. Next week, three different employees will be working the landfill. Cross explained, the reasoning behind split shift is if anyone is to contract COVID-19 there is another shift the landfill can run through before shutting down operations.

They are trying to avoid shutting down the landfill.

Another option would be to close the residential dumping at the landfill and limit the availability to only haulers. Cross explained, historically, most of their business comes from commercial haulers. However, the commissioners had concerns that many people will be looking to dump at the landfill as they clean out their garages this spring, especially with the “Stay at Home” order.

“The only reason it was thrown out there was as a safety measure to limit the exposure,” Cross said.

Commission President Denise Robertson asked if taking the money was the exposure he was trying to limit. Cross explained, face-to-face contact is the issue they are trying to avoid, along with potentially contaminated money.

Commissioner Chris Day asked if they could open to the public two days a week for a certain time period. He also asked if they could bill customers instead, but Cross responded, historically billing has not been successful.

Cross mentioned that the likelihood of transferring anything with credit cards is less and asked if they could consider credit card only or waiving the fees on credit card transactions.

“I wouldn’t do that, I would just say credit card only and let them make the call,” Commissioner Rodney Creech said.

Commissioner Day said he also wants people to have the option to get rid of their waste still.

Commission Clerk Kim Keller asked if they currently have the capability to accept credit cards at the landfill. Cross said he could check, as he wasn’t sure if it was a scanner or if employees had to type the number in. Commissioner Creech and Day said they could hold the card up to the widow and have the employee type the number in, without ever touching the card.

Day said they could check in to getting it set up properly at the landfill, because he is not a fan of limiting access. Commissioner Robertson mentioned some people only use cash.

Cross said he knows they accept cards currently, but is not sure if there is a swipe or if they enter the number manually. Day said they could get another reader and asked if they could put that outside during the day, in order to limit face-to-face interaction.

“I don’t want to make a big deal out of this, but I do want to be able to allow people the opportunity to get rid of their waste in a responsible manner,” Day said.

He asked that Cross track non-commercial access to see how many they actually get throughout the week, in case they have to eventually limit access to the landfill.

Cross clarified, “What we’re going to look at is the availability to get a card machine put outside of the facility, continue to accept residential waste at this time, and then to track it and see if it makes sense to limit it to a designated [day] of the week to continue on with that.”

The board told him to communicate with Keller moving forward.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH