More Wild Stories about White Street Landfill

An article in Sunday's News & Record was a bit misleading in its assessment of a proposed law on garbage dumps. I think the article was referring to Senate Bill 1575 which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources. The bill would put a hold on new landfills for 2 years while an environmental study is made. It would also allocate money for the study.

The N&R article failed to mention that there are exceptions written into the bill. These exceptions were posted here on May 22. I can't help wondering if the city employees interviewed about this action have read and understand the contents of and intent of the bill. There are several exceptions for existing landfills.

An entire copy of the bill (S1575) can be found on the North Carolina Legislature web site.

Short Title: Moratorium Imposed on New Landfills/Funds.
Sponsors: Senators Jenkins; Albertson and Purcell.
Referred to: Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources.


"SECTION 2.(b) Exceptions. – The moratorium established by subsection (a) of this section shall not prohibit consideration of an application for or issuance of:
(1) A modification of a permit for an existing permitted landfill.
(2) A permit to expand an existing permitted landfill if the proposed facility boundary will provide no more than five years of disposal capacity.
(3) A modification of a permit to reflect a transfer of ownership of an existing permitted landfill.
(4) A modification of a permit to provide for a substantial change to the waste stream described in a permit in effect as of 1 May 2006 for an existing landfill.
(5) A permit for a sanitary landfill used only to dispose of waste generated by a coal-fired generating unit that is owned or operated by an investor-owned utility subject to the requirements of G.S. 143-215.107D.
(6) A permit for a sanitary landfill determined to be necessary by the Secretary in order to respond to an imminent hazard to public health or a natural disaster . . .

Of course private companies who stockpile garbage in rural landfills would be against any restrictions on landfills. This study seems well advised in light of their intent to import trash into North Carolina from other states as well as hauling trash from metropolitan areas and dumping it in rural counties. The length of safety of these dumps is unknown. North Carolina's taxpayers should not have to pay to clean up areas that have been polluted by imported trash.

If North Carolina intends to reduce the cost of trash disposal and maybe even make a profit from it, Waste to Energy Programs should be addressed by the NC General Assembly, as well as by local governments.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

The time for our governments (city, county, state and federal) to consider these problems are long over due. There are so many great ideas floating around for the use of trash, and you have reported some of them on your site. That nothing is even considered just baffles me. One question: as I read this Greensboro would have to put a hold on using the transfer station and will continue to use Whitestreet landfill. Am I right? BB

diane said...

No, The White Street Landfill was never intended to be closed. When the City Council voted to try to close the White Street Landfill, they were only talking about closing it to household waste.

Construction and Demolition waste will still be accepted. And the landfill area will continue to be used for yard waste and to be used as a compost-making area.

Big trucks will still travel to the dump and toxic waste from C&D will still be accepted there.

The moratorium bill that is being considered in the NC Senate will have very little, if any, effect on our city landfill plans. The site is already permitted for household trash if we need it.

What Greensboro wants to expand is the C&D section. Because of the tipping fee, that section is a money-making proposition for Greensboro. The planned expansion should not be needed until the study is completed (moratorium is up to 2 years max).

The private landfill where Greensboro has contracted to have our household trash delivered by a private company is currently operating. The bill could have a negative effect on expansion of that dump, but there are exceptions for landfills already in operation and provisions for situations that are considered emergencies.

I have not read the actual contract that Greensboro has with the private waste disposal company, but from what I understand, the price was negotiated on the amount of trash, not the location of the dump.
So, if the bill is bad for the private waste management company, it shouldn't affect the city contract price.

I will try to find out an answer to that question. Maybe one or two of our City Council Members can help us out here.

Mark Binker said...


Just so you know, the folks who run the landfills, both private and public, don't think the exceptions in the versions of the landfill moratorium floating about right now provide real world relief.

While you point to one of the Senate bills, you should also probably read the version of the moratorium that was contained in the Senate budget.

As a rule, I neither write nor does the News & Record publish "wild stories" about subjects pending before the legislature. If you think something I've written is wrong or needs clarification, I know you have my contact information, but as a reminder I'll leave it below.

-mark binker
News & Record

diane said...

Hey Mark,

Sorry about the headline. I'll try to do better.

diane said...

Hey Mark,

I can't find anything in the Senate budget (S1471) 6th version that mentions the landfill moratorium. I saw a tipping fee mentioned in one of the first versions of the Senate Budget Proposal.

Where can I find the Senate Budget Proposal that you mentioned?

I have searched the State Web Site for a copy of the Governor's Proposed Budget, which I have read in the N&R contains a proposal for a tipping fee for trash.