On a recent Town Meeting Day, Salisbury residents voted, 149-30, to close the “town dump” off Upper Plains Road and instead send get their rubbish and recycling services through the Addison County Solid Waste Management District, which runs a transfer station in Middlebury and ultimately sends the county’s trash to a lined landfill in Coventry.
The Salisbury landfill will stop accepting trash on Sept. 1, thus ending its more than 30-year run and its status as the state’s last operating unlined landfill. While closure plans are going smoothly, Salisbury still needs to find a hauler to run a mini transfer station at the landfill. “All of the haulers in Addison County are so busy,” Selectwoman Pedie O’Brien said. “I think a lot of it is that so many people are now going with curbside pickup.”
O’Brien stressed that while the Salisbury landfill property will no longer accept garbage, it will continue to offer other amenities, such as a drop-off site for scrap metal, electronics and yard waste. It will also maintain a shed at which folks can leave or take good-quality, reusable items.
For years, the landfill served as a convenient place for Salisbury residents to drop off their trash and recyclables, get the latest gossip, collect signatures for petitions, and renew acquaintances. In its heyday during the early 1990s, the landfill took in enough trash from various sources to help bankroll a new local elementary school.
But its day of reckoning has finally come, just like all the other unlined municipal landfills that one dotted the state. O’Brien explained a combination of more stringent environmental regulations, economic factors and capacity limitations will lead to the landfill’s demise in around two weeks. “We’ve been working on closure for the past three years,” O’Brien said. “The first two years was basically, ‘How do we convince people that we need to close it?”