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Dumfries landfill closing today, after nearly 40 years

Potomac Landfill will be replaced by a $389 million casino, hotel and park complex.

DUMFRIES, Va. — A landmark on the horizon in Dumfries is about to come to the end of an era. The Potomac Landfill Inc. will take its last loads of construction debris for recycling and disposal on Friday.

A celebration among the 15 employees that work at the landfill is planned, according to Potomac Landfill President Phil Peet.

The site will be redeveloped as a $389 million casino, hotel and park complex owned by Colonial Downs Group, according to announcements from the company.

The landfill, which has been described as an "eyesore" by Dumfries Mayor Derrick Woods, has grown to more than 230 feet in height over the decades, dominating the horizon over the town and clearly visible to travelers on I-95.

Colonial Downs said the new casino, hotel and restaurant development at the base of the mountain will be called “the Rose."

Nearly 1,500 workers will be employed and nearly $11 million will be generated in local taxes annually, Colonial Downs said. Developers claim the site will feature a 79-acre recreation park up on the high ground for the Dumfries community.

Speaking while surveying the spectacular views from the top of the man-made mountain, Peet said he is proud of what landfill operators and employees accomplished over the years. He called the change ahead "bittersweet."

“It's someplace that people work every day and they raised their families on the income they earned off taking somebody else's waste and putting it in the ground," Peet said. "It's been quite a story. It's been quite a ride."

The closure means one less site for the disposal of construction debris in the region, which is anticipated to add cost to the construction industry in the Northern Virginia region, according to Peet.

The company will continue to accept construction waste at a recycling center in Arlington. Material that cannot be recovered for recycling will be trucked to a landfill site south of the Richmond area, Peet said.

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