"A New Approach to Solid Waste"
Saturday, March 27, 2010 (21:30:03)
Posted by Admin
On March 16, 2010, Neil Seldman, President of the Institute for Self Reliance, a national nonprofit organization, spoke at the Clinton Inn. The event was entitled "A New Approach to Solid Waste." The purpose was to discuss "alternatives" to the issue of solid waste disposal in Scotland County.
|"People should be able to make up their own minds about the landfill expansion," said Bill Owens, who is helping organize the meeting. "Mr. Seldman's presentation will offer another view in considering this long term issue."|
Owens is a Republican candidate for county commissioner.
Helen Livingston of Laurinburg said the community needs to carefully consider the implications of county leaders allowing a landfill of this magnitude to operate in the county.
"The proposed landfill site is located one half mile from Maxton, two and three quarters of a mile from the Laurinburg-Maxton airport, and three miles from Laurinburg," Livingston said. "The maximum capacity is 31 million tons of garbage.
"Ironically, and at the same time, the region is being considered for major mass transportation routes that will tie the local economy to the growth at Ft. Bragg, as well as to major urban centers in the fastest growing corridor in the country, the Piedmont Atlantic MegaRegion. Instead of making our county a waste centroid for garbage, why don't we establish a resource recovery system, which will bring valuable raw materials to our economy? This translates into new jobs, new small businesses and an expanded tax base. By looking at the recycling and composting alternatives, more money in host community fees would come to the county. The added jobs and businesses would be a wonderful bonus for local economy."
Owens said the landfill site will be both an eyesore and a detriment to Scotland County tourism.
"For every 1,000 tons of garbage put in a landfill, one job is created. For every 10,000 tons of recyclables, five to 10 jobs are created in processing.
"The bottom line is, I want the public to know there are alternatives, and I encourage everyone to come to the Tuesday night presentation," he said. "I also don't want us to be known in the future as 'the trash county'. Sometimes people can come up with some cruel things to say."
County Commissioner Guy McCook said that when the time comes for commissioners to make a decision about the landfill, he hopes to place his vote is based on good information from both proponents and opponents of the expansion issue.
"Whether or not to expand the landfill will be an extremely difficult decision for the commissioners to make, and I have not made up my mind about it as of yet," he said. "I don't think we need to be in a rush to decide, but we are getting closer to the time that the community will need to have a rational debate on the issue and consider both the pros and the cons. I regret I cannot attend Tuesday's meeting; had I known about it I would have made plans to be there. What I need as a commissioner is as much information as I can get from both sides in order to make a knowledgeable decision. I would be willing to meet with anyone to discuss the issue."
The proposed 236-acre landfill would bring as much as 3000 tons of solid waste per day to Scotland County, according to Owens.
"I want the public to hear a national expert speak on this issue before a decision is made by the county to go in this direction," Owens said. "I'm afraid that in hindsight, going forward with this landfill will be seen as a major mistake."