The Orange County Board of Commissioners on March 13 postponed a vote on the site of the countyâ€™s future waste transfer station, requesting more information from solid waste director Gayle Wilson and County Manager Laura Blackmon.
The board is considering three transfer station sites, including two sites off U.S.Â 70 in the Eno Economic Development District along with the Eubanks Road landfill. The landfill will reach capacity in 2010. The county plans to set up the transfer station to transport its solid waste out of county.
Residents of the neighborhoods surrounding all of the sites were critical of the countyâ€™s site search and the lack of formal criteria in determining potential sites. Wilson said he is developing the criteria to present to the board at its March 27 meeting.
Wilson added that he and Blackmon are writing a report responding to a number of different questions from the board, including how much time, if any, the board has to determine the site. He also hopes to develop a contingency plan in case the county is unable to build the transfer station by the time the landfill reaches capacity.
In addition, Wilson said he plans to calculate the effects of the transfer station on traffic, as well as the locations that produce most of the waste.
Former county managerÂ John Link, a resident of the Eno Township, told the board the residents of the neighborhoods near the U.S. 70 sites deserve a meeting regarding the potential transfer station, as well as the opportunity to visit a transfer station.
Residents of the Rogers Road neighborhood, which is near the Eubanks Road site, met with county staff in January to discuss the station. They were also able to tour a Greensboro transfer station with county officials.
Several Rogers Road neighborhood residents argued that because the neighborhood already has hosted the landfill since the early 1970s, the county should not consider Eubanks Road site for the transfer station.
â€œIt is undeniable that the Rogers Road residents have lived with the burden of our countyâ€™s trash for long enough,â€ said Tracy Kuhlman, a resident of the Rogers Road neighborhood. She added, â€œIf the countyâ€™s leaders are prepared to force the Rogers Road area into decades of trash to come, they should at least be able to defend that decision with a clear record of a well organized, complete search.â€
Dave Richter, a resident of the Highlands neighborhood, said, â€œMuch is owed to Rogers Road.â€ He added, â€œEvery time you take out your trash, it goes to Rogers Road, to their backyards. Why are we doing this again?â€
Commissioner Barry Jacobs said, â€œItâ€™s not only one moral issueâ€“itâ€™s a number of moral issues.â€
Board Chairman Moses Carey urged the board to make a decision in a timely manner. He said, â€œThere is a difference between a landfill and a transfer station, a significant difference.â€
Commissioner Valerie Foushee, who visited the Greensboro transfer station, argued that a transfer station is still a garbage site, adding, â€œI am not in a position to vote on this item tonight.â€
Jacobs said, â€œI never have, and still do not feel that we did a good job on the site search,â€ adding, â€œI think that once we see what our parameters are we might be better able to make [a decision].â€