Halifax County Trash Truck Fleet Destroyed in Weekend Fire

Halifax Co., VA - When Public Works Director Ricky Nelson arrived at the refuse truck shop yard around 1:20 am Saturday, he couldn't believe his eyes.Most of Halifax County's trash trucks were engulfed in flames. The damage had already been done by the time neighbors heard explosions coming from the yard and called 911.

County Administrator Jim Halasz sat down with Nelson over the weekend to discuss a plan of action.

"It's a big loss to us. It's a significant financial loss, but operationally, it's a big loss as well, " Halasz said.They'll use emergency funding to cover any costs that insurance does not. For now, the one remaining recycling truck will have to carry the whole load.

"That has been on the road since 10 o'clock last night. We're running the truck two shifts and we've got drivers that are just changing hands at 6 in the morning, " Nelson said.Halasz says to replace all of the trucks with a brand new fleet would cost more than $800,000 and could take months. Used trucks may be the fastest solution.

"We need to get trucks soon, so we'll probably find a combination of what is out there readily available, " Halasz said.Though Halifax County does not provide door to door service, county officials say maintaining collection site schedules is important. Crews will continue to work overtime to make sure waste management never misses a beat.

"There may be a few glitches along the way as we move forward, but I think for the most part, residents shouldn't see too much of a disruption in their service, " said Nelson.

It is important to note that recycling service has been suspended throughout the county until replacements can be found. Other localities - including Lynchburg and Mecklenburg County - have offered to loan a few of their trucks in the meantime.