The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday May 16th

Town Talk

Chapel Hill and Orange County Commissioners worry about landfill future

Orange County leaders know they will close the current county landfill in 2013 — but at this point, that’s about all it knows.

Orange County Commissioners and the Chapel Hill Town Council discussed the future of the community’s solid waste management strategy following the Feb. 21 decision to close the Rogers Road landfill in 2013.

The landfill, which has been a source of tension among residents in the traditionally black and low income community, has served as Chapel Hill’s primary site of waste disposal since the early 1970s.

The commissioners and council discussed the need for patience as officials draft a long term solution to find a viable alternative to the Rogers Road landfill.

“We are looking at everything,” said Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil. “We don’t want to put you or us in a position that 60 days from now doesn’t make sense.”

Stancil also discussed the estimated cost of using Durham’s waste transfer station after the town performed a trial waste disposal run to the location this past month.

He estimated that it would cost $500,000 to $700,000 a year to consistently drive trash to Durham — a number the leaders worried was too high.

The council also reaffirmed its dedication to Orange County’s longstanding goal of reducing waste output by 61 percent per person.

“The commitment to that 61 percent reduction goal continues,” said Steve Yuhasz, vice chairman of the Board of County Commissioners.

Notable:

St. Pauls AME Church presented their proposal for the construction of a project described as a “worship campus”. The project would include the construction of recreational facilities, a
new sanctuary, a health clinic and over 80 housing units.

The project’s zoning application will go to town council on May 2, and commissioners will make a decision June 19. Council is scheduled to make its decision on the project June 25.

The council and board also heard an update on the construction progress of Elementary School 11, which Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is constructing in Northside. It was reported that construction was on schedule.

Quotable:

“I think everybody fortunately realizes that Chapel Hill is doing its due diligence with the consulting board, and need to give it time to gather and assess information in order to go forth,”
said Jim Ward, Chapel Hill Town Council member on the committee’s progress towards finding a permanent waste solution.

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