For a Better Commute. For Better Connected Communities in Prince William & Stafford, Va.

‘Beforehand, to reach the big hole, residents were required to travel over a long unpaved, dusty or muddy dirt road’

Old Landfill photo 3780607-R1-E014
pwc landfill, 8,26,15, 1


Why, Potomac Local, why? 

Have you ever been walking, driving, or riding along and asked: “why?”

Why does this road only have two lanes when it could be better with four? Why does this school have so many trailers classrooms while others don’t?

We always like to hear your questions to our local community, and if you send us a question to, we promise to do our best to find an answer.

This week: “When and why did the landfill change from allowing people to drive up to the drop-off point and start using roll away dumpsters at the citizen convenience area?” 

From Prince William County Solid Waste Division spokeswoman Deborah Campbell: 

“Many long-time Prince William residents can recall, “back in the olden days,” when you would drive up to the edge and pitch your trash in a big hole at “the dump.” However, in the late 80’s, new regulations were set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. This new regulation prohibited more than one workface at a landfill. Our landfill operated two workfaces, one for residents and one for commercial haulers. To comply with the new regulation, the residents’

To comply with the new regulation, the residents’ workface was closed and the first citizens’ convenience area was opened near where the scale house is now located. Additionally, the first citizens’ convenience center was established to provide a safer, more accessible way for residents to discard their trash. Beforehand, to reach the big hole, residents were required to travel over a long unpaved, dusty or muddy dirt road. Plus, the convenience area helped eliminate people taking the term “drop off point” literally by driving over the edge.

The original convenience center was moved to its current location in 2002 and now includes recycling bins for paper, plastic and metal food containers, milk, juice and soup cartons, foil wrap and trays and cardboard. In addition, residents can bring used motor oil, antifreeze, oil filters, car batteries and household batteries for recycling and American flags for proper disposal by the Boy Scouts. Importantly, at end of April, the Donation Place at the Landfill reopened for business as the Donation Drop Spot and landfill customers can donate reusable household items, sports equipment, clothing, shoes and other textiles, furniture, small appliances, toys and other items in good condition. This helps to save valuable landfill space by keeping tons of material out of the landfill and put to better use than being buried.

Today’s Prince William County Landfill is an engineering marvel and it has come a long way from an olden days dump.”

Photos: Prince William County Landfill in the late 1980s, an aerial photo of the present-day landfill

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