02/18/04 — Landfill location still unknown

View Archive

Landfill location still unknown

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 18, 2004 1:57 PM

Somewhere around the middle of Duplin County a new landfill is going to be built.

Nobody will know exactly where until engineers finish their investigation of five potential sites, county officials say.

First, they have to get permission from two more landowners to investigate the soil quality.

Wayne Sullivan of Municipal Engineering says he would like to do all of the tests this winter so he won't interfere with crops, but the weather has not been cooperating.

"We might not be able to do them all this winter," he said. "If a tractor can't get into the field, we can't get a drill rig into it, either."

Most of the 11 original sites that the Duplin County commissioners gave Sullivan to study were located up and down U.S. 117. Municipal Engineering thinned it down to five, based on the maps and some cursory research. Then they started take soil samples.

There are still five contenders, Sullivan said Tuesday. Location is important, he said, but soil quality is the priority at this point in the investigation.

In December the Duplin County commissioners had to dispel a rumor about a place near Warsaw being chosen. None of the five sites has been chosen, they said. But Commissioner Chairman L.S. Guy said he's hoping the site chosen by the engineers will be one that will affect the least people.

He said Tuesday the county will deal with it when it comes up if the engineers pick one with better soil quality over another one that is more secluded. Either way, he said, "the decision won't be easy."

The county commissioners have been very methodical in their process of finding a place to put the landfill, he said, and nobody has given him any indication that any one of the five sites are preferred over the others.

"I think the people in this area are satisfied with the idea we're moving forward to find a suitable site," he said. "I think they're very interested. We've been very up-front about seeking the best suitable site for the project."

Duplin County generates about 38,000 tons of garbage a year and hauls it to a landfill in Sampson County. The commissioners have wanted a centrally located county-owned landfill.