11/30/05 — Duplin officials consider landfill law

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Duplin officials consider landfill law

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on November 30, 2005 1:45 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County commissioners are considering creating a landfill ordinance that would regulate the disposal of solid waste in the county.

Duplin has no landfill and hires a private company to haul public waste to a landfill in Sampson County. Commissioners signed a 10-year contract with Waste Industries to dispose of the county's waste but are still considering an ordinance to govern any private landfill that might be created in Duplin. A subsidiary of Waste Industries has sought permission to build one near Calypso. Some neighbors have objected.

State officials say an ordinance is necessary only if commissioners want to grant a franchise to a company to operate a landfill in the county.

A company needs permission from state before opening a landfill and the state will not issue a permit unless the county has an ordinance on the books governing the operation of such a franchise.

Duplin County Attorney Wendy Sivori helped draw up guidelines for an ordinance, along with County Manager Fred Eldridge.

County commissioners took their first look at guidelines last week.

Eldridge told commissioners the ordinance, if created, would need a clause holding the county harmless in the event of environmental contamination.

Eldridge told commissioners the clause is needed to protect taxpayers.

The proposed ordinance also requires a statement of the total population to be served by the landfill, "including a complete and specific description or listing of the geographic area (specifics to be given - names of counties and or states if outside of Duplin County and the State of North Carolina) for which the landfill is proposed to serve."

Ms. Sivori told commissioners their first decision is whether or not they intend to grant a franchise. And if they do, the next decision is how strict to make it and adopt an ordinance.

But once an ordinance is adopted, the county is obligated to grant a franchise to a company that meets all the criteria set forth in the ordinance, she said.