Fifty people attended last night's solid waste transfer station meeting in White Cross. Five times as many crammed the Recreation Center for airport meetings. But it was cold and rainy, and there was basketball.
Several residents asked why the county was choosing to haul its future trash, a less sustainable practice than building a new landfill. They also asked why, if a transfer station is being pursued, the county is looking far from where the trash is generated, again less sustainable (in terms of energy costs).
The answer in both cases, solid waste director Gayle Wilson said, is politics. The county was unable to find a landfill site in the 1990s and decided not to put a transfer station on Eubanks Road -- land it owns close to where most of the trash is generated -- because it would have saddled the Rogers Road community with decades of more garbage.
"Been there, done that," Wilson said. "You can definitely make the argument it's not sustainable to haul your waste to another county and another state. But we tried the sustainable approach, and here we are."
So we asked some of the commissioners today whether, in light of the economy especially, they wanted to reconsider Eubanks Road.
COMMISSIONER MIKE NELSON: "I believe the Board's intent was clear, not to reconsider the Eubanks Road site."
COMMISSIONER BERNADETTE PELISSIER: "I know that folks do keep bringing up Eubanks Road as a waste transfer site. But recall that two of us three new commissioners did vote for the sites on Hwy 54. We are waiting for a report on other options in response to questions raised by community members and commissioners. I can't say what we will do until we review additional information."
COMMISSIONER PAM HEMMINGER: "I am fairly confident that the Eubanks site will not be reconsidered. The BOCC has already been down that road."
You can read more about Sunday night's meeting in Wednesday's Chapel Hill News. In the meantime, what do you think the county should do with its trash? If we get enough responses (with your full name and town or township), we'll print some of them in Sunday's paper. Thanks.