A Joppatowne rubble landfill that has been combating an infestation of cockroaches since August has reopened. State Department of the Environment administrators declared the rubble fill on Oak Avenue to be roach-free.
But some nearby residents, whose homes were invaded bythe roaches, say they are worried that spring temperatures will result in a new infestation.
Some homes were infested with American cockroaches when the bugs migrated as land at the Pappy Inc. rubble landfill was cleared to make way for the rubble dump.
"We just don't know what will happen when it warms up," said Jeff Walters, who lives near the rubble fill.
"We haven't seen a live roach since November," Walters said. "But this week, I was working in the kitchen and tore down an 8-foot-by-5-foot piece of Sheetrock and found 50 to 100 egg casings. They've apparently hatched, but I don't know where they've gone."
Walters said his home was sprayed twice at the expense of Terry Stancill, owner ofPappy Inc. Stancill has voluntarily paid the cost of treating residents' homes affected by the cockroaches.
He said he was not really "comfortable" with the news that the rubble fill had opened March 16 with state permission.
The landfill has a state permit to operate but delayed its opening after the American cockroaches, which are notnative to Maryland, were discovered in August to have infested the site.
Investigators for the Department of Environment determined the insects migrated from the rubble fill into about two dozen neighboring homes. The bugs had been living in piles of organic matter in thelandfill. They migrated into homes when the land was cleared and graded for the rubble fill.
"We're not seeing any roaches on site," Stancill said last week.
"Last Friday, we dug 18 holes all over theplace and didn't find any. We were given the OK to open by the Department of the Environment."
Stancill said that for at least the next month, the fill would accept rubble generated by the county government or area builders.
"After a month or so, then we would take material from outside the county," Stancill said.
Pappy's is the onlyrubble fill operating within the county.
Spencer's Sand & Gravel,in Abingdon, was a county rubble fill with a state permit to operateuntil it closed two weeks ago because it was running out of space. Spencer's is seeking an expansion permit from the Department of Environment.
Permits for two other rubble fills -- on Gravel Hill Road in Havre de Grace and on Fort Hoyle Road in Joppa -- are under review by the state.