02/22/05 — Duplin commissioners authorize county manager to negotiate a solid waste contract

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Duplin commissioners authorize county manager to negotiate a solid waste contract

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 22, 2005 2:08 PM

KENANSVILLE -- The Duplin County Board of Commissioners authorized county Manager Fred Eldridge to negotiate with any landfill owner or other local government to haul solid waste for the county. They also agreed to look for an engineer to design a new compactor and transfer station from which to haul the waste.

The commissioners made the decision after a work session Monday.

Duplin currently has no landfill, and a private company, Waste Industries, hauls the county's solid waste to Sampson County for disposal.

Eldridge say today that it would take three to five years to build a landfill in Duplin, and his first order of business is to find a landfill that will accept the county's garbage now.

Meanwhile, Eldridge said, he will continue to work on a franchise ordinance to have in place should the commissioners decide to negotiate with a private company. Waste Industries was considering buying about 300 acres of land on which to build a landfill between Calypso and Faison and has offered landowners $3 million. But neighbors have said they will sue the county if the landfill is built there.

Eldridge told commissioners he received a 10-year hauling contract proposal last week from the solid waste disposal company Republic, which is located in Bertie County. He said he hasn't looked at the offer, because he was told to negotiate only with Waste Industries.

Commissioner L.S. Guy said he wanted the county to negotiate with Republic. Commissioner Zettie Williams said she wanted to negotiate only with Waste Industries.

"I don't think we're treating them right, because when we couldn't take it anywhere else, they did take our garbage," she said, referring to the private landfill in Sampson County owned by Waste Industries.

Commissioner Arliss Albertson moved to negotiate the best deal with any company or county. Guy seconded the motion. The vote was 5 to 1, with Ms. Williams dissenting.

In related business, the commissioners voted unanimously to send out requests for proposals from engineers to draw up plans for a new transfer station, where solid waste is compacted and loaded for shipment to Sampson.

The ground under the existing transfer station near Rose Hill is giving way, and the county is in dire need of a newone, said Bee Barnett, Duplin's solid waste director.

"If this thing goes down, the office goes and it goes 18 feet to the bottom," he said. "This is something we need to address now."

Barnett said the money is in his budget to build the new transfer station, which he expects to cost about $2.1 million. The county already owns the land where Barnett said the new station would be built. It is across the road from the existing station.