Fairfax County Executive Anthony Griffin on Monday put his weight behind a plan for the county to purchase a $400 million trash incinerator in the Lorton area on the county's southern end. The garbage facility currently is owned and operated by Covanta Fairfax, and the county's privatization advocates would like to keep it that way.

Griffin's recommendation comes about two weeks after a staff report predicted significant cost savings by 2029, should the county make the purchase. Opponents wonder why the county would take on the expense when there've been few complaints with Covanta's management and pricing. Covanta isn't looking to sell, but a clause in its contract with the county includes a purchase option this year.

Fairfax's Chamber of Commerce responded quickly to Griffin's announcement by advocating for a full public hearing on the matter.

"Not only has the case not been adequately made that such a purchase is in the interest of Fairfax County residents, taxpayers and the business community, we fear this decision will be made without a public hearing to provide all of the impacted stakeholders an opportunity to share their perspective on an issue of this magnitude," said Chamber President Jim Corcoran.

The county has scheduled three informational meetings about the facility and the purchase proposal:

  • Thursday, Jan. 27 – 7 p.m. at South County Secondary School (8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton)
  • Monday, Jan. 31 – 7 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax) in conference room 2 & 3.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1 – 7 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (12000 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston) in the Community Room.