SNOW HILL – Worcester County residents who would like to discard their trash and large household items at the county landfill will have 12 less hours to do so starting this weekend.
The town of Ocean City’s decision to contract with an out-of-state trash hauler instead of transporting trash to the Worcester County Landfill prompted the county to reduce hours of operation at the Newark vicinity waste facility.
The resort’s new trash contract, which will cost the town less per ton of trash, began this week. Ocean City’s new trash contract runs for the next three years.
“Since we lost Ocean City, we’re trying to downsize as quickly as possible,” said Enterprise Fund Controller Jennifer Savage.
The Worcester County Commissioners voted this week to approve the reduction of open hours.
Weekend hours at the landfill will be cut, starting June 20. The landfill will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and closed entirely on Sundays.
Until this weekend, the county landfill has been open from 8 a.m. to 4. p.m. every day, seven days a week.
Trash transfer stations in the county will still be open for use regular hours, as always, John Ross, deputy director of public works, said.
Extra cans will be put out at some transfer stations, especially in Berlin, to accommodate the expected increase in use on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, according to solid waste staff.
“Mom and pop will still be able to haul their trash Saturday and Sunday regular hours to the transfer site,” Commissioner Bud Church said.
The county may amend transfer station hours in the future, but no decision has been made.
Solid waste operations are also downsizing through four employees who have chosen to take early retirement, an offer extended by the commissioners in May.
County employees who are 62 years old and over with five years of service and are vested in the Maryland retirement fund, will receive one-third of their salary as a bonus if they choose to retire by July 1.
The solid waste operation has a high number of staffers eligible for early retirement.
One other solid waste employee has recently resigned, bringing the solid waste staff reduction to five employees, Savage said.