The Prince William County Landfill and the Balls Ford Road Compost Facility will be closed on Sundays beginning Nov. 6 until further notice.
The Prince William County Solid Waste Division said despite the department’s efforts to recruit and reassign employees, they do not have sufficient staff to safely operate the landfill and Balls Ford Road Compost Facility for the current 78 hours per week.
“The Solid Waste Division has a vacancy rate that has remained steady at around 20 percent and has continued to operate short-staffed in critical facility positions for well over a year, despite multiple recruitments and numerous job offers,” Department of Public Works Director Thomas Smith said in a news release.
“Public- and private-sector demand in the region for heavy equipment operators and CDL drivers has outpaced available workers since the start of the pandemic. The labor shortage in these fields continues to cause service disruptions in the solid waste industry and is driving increasingly higher wages to attract and retain these workers.”
The division said Sunday was chosen because it is the only day of the week commercial refuse haulers, which bring in most of the disposal tonnage, do not collect residential routes and bring the collected waste to county facilities.
The Sunday closures will also give facility employees the opportunity to address deferred work and perform required maintenance and regulatory requirements, the release said.
On average, the county’s solid waste facilities serve less than 1,300 residential customers on Sundays, the release said.
It’s the second time this year the county has temporarily closed solid waste facilities on Sundays. In January, the department reduced hours due to staffing shortages, overtime costs and escalating COVID-19 safety concerns.
The facilities will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit pwcva.gov/trashandrecycling for more information on solid waste programs and services.
Those interested in career opportunities with the Department of Public Works or other county departments can view current openings and apply online at pwcva.gov/careers.