08/04/04 — Duplin continues negotiations on garbage-hauling contract

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Duplin continues negotiations on garbage-hauling contract

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 4, 2004 1:59 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County Manager Fred Eldridge is negotiating a contract with Waste Industries to haul the county's garbage, while an engineer looks for a place to put a county-owned landfill.

Eldridge said he has made a number of changes in his response to the company's proposal, but he has not been successful in scheduling a meeting with company representatives.

"Commissioners, to my knowledge, have not changed their minds on the issue of the county having its own landfill," he said in response to an inquiry about the negotiations.

They began after the Duplin County commissioners voted on June 7 to negotiate a 10-year contract with Waste Industries to haul the county's garbage. Some say the company's proposal stipulated that, during that time, the county could not build its own landfill.

The minutes to that meeting said Eldridge informed the board that he received an unsolicited proposal from Sampson County Disposal for 10 years.

Inquiries to Sampson County Disposal led to Ven Poole, vice president of Waste Industries. Poole, who could not be reached for comment, has wanted to build a landfill between Calypso and Faison since 2000.

In June when Eldridge asked the board what it wanted to do, the board authorized him to proceed with negotiations of a contract.

Commissioner Larry Howard said Monday the engineer told the board Duplin County doesn't generate enough garbage to make a county-operated landfill cost-effective. "As long as they're willing to take it, I'm willing to give it to them," he said.

Voting in favor of negotiating a contract were Commissioners Myrle Beringer, Reginald Wells and Zettie Williams.

L.S. Guy gave the only no vote, according to the minutes of that meeting. When asked why he dissented, he said he is still committed to a county-owned landfill.

Guy said he has not heard a word since June about the negotiations. He said he's letting the search for a landfill site proceed.

Wayne Sullivan with Municipal Engineering said he's still looking for a landfill site. But he said crops are on the land now at the five sites he wants to test for soil quality and water levels. In early winter when the crops are gone, he said, he plans to test the soil.