Commissioners consider shipping trash

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Following more than five years of discussion and more than $1 million spent, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners made a decision about solid waste motioning to look into a service contract with Waste Industries to ship trash to Sampson County.

Instead of entering into a second phase with consultant CDM Smith, the board approved the motion 4-1, with Commissioner Jonathan Barfield Jr., dissenting on Monday, Oct. 7.

“I will probably never waiver from my views on Wastec,” Barfield said. “… I would love to see it stay.”

The motion arose from a proposal Waste Industries submitted on Sept. 12, offering to create a transfer station at the county landfill and ship 500 to 1,500 tons per day to the Sampson County landfill. 

While the Waste Industries proposal estimates the cost per ton at $36 per ton plus taxes, the county analysis for the first year of tip fees estimates closer to $58 per ton, or about $1 less than the current solid waste tipping fee.

The decision will save the county close to $42,000 for consulting costs since there will not be a second phase of the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan.

“I think all of us have done a lot of due diligence … and now we find ourselves at a crossroads,” Vice Chairwoman Beth Dawson said before the motion. “… This county has spent a lot of money to come to a conclusion on where we may go.”

In her mind, Dawson said she received enough information for the time being and wanted to preserve the life of the landfill.

Chairman Woody White said he would like the contract to include markers for education, increased recycling and better results for household hazardous waste.

Included in the motion is the creation of a Solid Waste Advisory Committee with two commissioners, county staff and others, similar to the Solid Waste Advisory Board created in 2009.

It is expected to cost about $250,000 to deconstruct Wastec; and commissioners also directed county staff to have risk management look into what it would cost to self-insure the facility. It currently costs about $59,000 per year for insurance.

The consent agenda, approved unanimously at the beginning of the meeting, included a resolution to Congressman Mike McIntyre and Congressman Walter Jones to delay the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

Wrightsville Beach Mayor Pro Tem Bill Sisson explained the resolution to commissioners during the Thursday, Oct. 3 agenda briefing. He said he hope the resolution will accomplish a delay in implementation during which economic impacts can be studied.

“The economic impact this is going to have on our region is huge,” Sisson said. “… The ripple effects are going to be felt all over the place.”

email kelly@luminanews.com 

 

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