02/06/04 — Upset with Waste Industries

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Upset with Waste Industries

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 6, 2004 2:01 PM

FAISON -- Some residents are upset with Waste Industries for taking their recyclable items to the dump.

It's time for the town of Faison to renew its contract with its garbage hauler, Waste Industries. The company has been taking residential garbage to the landfill in Sampson County.

But Wednesday night, Sheila Brock and several other citizens asked the Faison town board and a company official to account for the dumping of their recyclables.

Ms. Brock said that one day about four years ago she happened to be home from work in the middle of the day and spotted the trash truck and saw her recyclables dumped in with the garbage. She said it is still going on.

"Many residents have said they saw the same thing," she told the town board. They have since stopped recycling.

Town Commissioner Jane Hollingsworth admitted that she's one of those who have stopped recycling for the same reason. "I'm not proud of it," she said. "I know it's not right. We've got a mindset to change."

Ms. Brock said that four years have passed since she complained to the company. Back then, she said, she was told the recyclables were "contaminated."

That was just a convenient reply, she said. She said she rinses all her bottles. She said she had been told "the bottom fell out on prices, and Waste Industries has no reason to recycle."

The extra waste taken to the landfill has been charged to Faison all this time, she said. "I feel our trust has been violated. Recycling is an effective way to keep a landfill from filling up as fast."

Waste Industries' goal is to fill it up as fast as it can to get the tipping fee, said Frances Parks, co-chairman of Citizens for a Safe Environment, a group that has opposed the company's efforts to build a landfill in Duplin County.

"They make their money putting garbage in a landfill," said Ms. Parks. The county's recycle center at Rose Hill is only getting 15 percent of what could be recycled, she said.

Faison Mayor Bill Igoe told Keep America Beautiful Coordinator Teresa Quinn that he will meet with her soon and discuss how to get the recyclables to her recycling center.

Town residents are welcome to take their separated recyclables to the county's convenience sites, she said. She reminded the town board that there are two other private garbage haulers working in Duplin County. They're Onslow Container and Sampson County. She said she has heard of no problems of this sort with those haulers.

Igoe said Waste Industries officials had told him the town's garbage tonnage was down. "Here's the reason why," he said. Some of the people are still recycling.

Bill Hammond of Waste Industries told the board he got rid of the driver who had been dumping the recyclables in with the rest of the garbage. He promised to make sure the recyclables are separated, if it means he has to come to Faison himself.

Within the past couple of weeks, he said, he has assigned a "split truck" to Faison. The truck has one side designated for garbage and the other for recyclables only. Faison produces five tons of trash a week, he said. The new truck holds eight tons.

He assured town commissioners that the town's recyclables have been going to the recycling center in Wilson. But Igoe said there would be "no vote tonight" on the garbage contract. "I think you'll understand," he told Hammond.