Maintenance of Old Landfills Costly but Important for Sussex Cou - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maintenance of Old Landfills Costly but Important for Sussex County

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

GEORGETOWN, Del- Sussex County officials are explaining why it is so important to maintain old landfills, even if it is costly. 

Years ago Sussex County had six operating landfills. But, after the landfills were at capacity and didn't meet state requirements, the county decided it was time to shut down the landfills for good. 

While the old landfills might be non-operational, they still are taking up not just the county's property, but also its money.

Each year the county spends about $100,000 to maintain the properties. 

Sussex County Engineer Hans Medlarz said while the upkeep comes with a big price tag, it is worth every penny. 

"I think the public sees it as just the opposite," he said. "I think they feel that it's a protection.  A protection of the environment, it's a protection of the groundwater and it's a protection of their health because we are making sure they have either public water available or don't have a well in the ground water monitoring zones." 

Some people in Bridgeville, though, think the opposite and were shocked to hear how much it cost. 

"That's just a big surprise I never would think it would cost that much," said Gladys Fischer of Bridgeville. 

Medlarz explained to those who are concerned about the expense, how it all adds up. 

"It's tied directly to the number of wells we have to monitor and directly tied to the number of stream samples we have to take," he said. "If you take the number of wells that have to be accessible hat means we have to maintain a certain number of path miles and we have to get to certain stream locations to do the sampling."

Medlarz said he believes the spending will decline once the amount of water samples needed to be collected declines as well.

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