• 63°

Landfill will not change locations

WINDSOR – It’s been decided.

After much discussion, the Bertie County landfill will stay where it is.

The anticipated expansion will take place using the current site just outside of Aulander.

Jimmy Hoggard, representing the Mayors & Town Commissioners board, came before the Bertie County Commissioners during their regular meeting Monday night pleading with them to keep the landfill in its current place.

Hoggard stated it takes two men an hour to go to the landfill and back from Windsor. If the landfill was further away, it would cost Windsor more money in labor and equipment.

Six of the eight towns in Bertie County have adopted resolutions supporting the expansion of the current landfill site, according to Hoggard.

&uot;None of us would have endorsed a landfill expansion if we did not feel it was safe,&uot; he further stated.

He continued, &uot;In the future, we will receive more revenue in the county by keeping it (the landfill) where it is.&uot;

Evidently, Hoggard’s concerns and the pleas of others were well received, along with findings from studies of the current and alternate sites.

Drew Isenhour, who is the Area President of Republic Services of NC, the company who operates the landfill, came forward during the meeting and stated his company supported the expansion of the current landfill site as well.

&uot;Based on the studies that have been done, we believe the current site is the right choice as a location for the expansion,&uot; he stated.

Several studies were done, which looked at four alternate sites along with the current site as possibilities for a new, higher-capacity landfill.

The Commissioners toured each of the five sites in a trip last week.

According to Isenhour, the current landfill site has never had any environmental problems in all its 13 years of operation.

The garbage disposal industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in North Carolina, due to tough federal and state guidelines designed for environmental protection.

&uot;The landfill is run above the federal and state guidelines; we do a lot of things that most folks don’t,&uot; Isenhour said.

Bill Hodges, a professional engineer with Hodges, Harbin, Newberry and Tribble, Inc. spoke after Isenhour and answered questions from the commissioners and the public.

Commissioner Norman Cherry, Sr. expressed concern over the condition of the road leading to the landfill.

&uot;I’ve had several concerns with the roads… something has to be done to correct that problem,&uot; he stated. &uot;You have to go off the road into the dirt just to avoid the potholes; that’s how bad it is.&uot;

Hodges responded, &uot;I think that’s a valid concern because we’ve all been on that road and we know what you’re talking about.&uot;

Isenhour interjected that in his experience with other landfills, the counties would set aside money in the contract with Republic specifically designated for expanding and maintaining the roads.

The extra funds would not come out of host fee money, though Isenhour did not specify where exactly they would come from.

Commissioner Wallace Perry stated he was worried about the common practice of littering along the road (Jack Branch Road) and the trash that flies out of the garbage trucks on the way to the landfill.

Isenhour stated that garbage is currently picked up along the road by landfill employees on an as-needed basis, but a trash pickup schedule could also be worked into the contract with Republic if the county wished it to occur more frequently.

The commissioners voted 4-0 to expand the current landfill site and to form a committee to renegotiate a contract with Republic.

County Manager Zee Lamb said the vote was not a final one, but that there will be two more in the future once the contract has been negotiated.