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Landfill in Moncure: What are the facts?

By Steve Brown
Posted Monday, January 19, 2004

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There's been some more talk on the landfill issue in Chatham County, and I was wondering if anyone knew more about the facts of the situation?

According to the link that was sent in an earlier chat list, there is a consultant for the waste industry who said the county should put in a regional landfill and stands to gain in excess of $2 Million per year. While I have nothing against consultants and I think they can add valuable insight to a problem, this particular one works for, and is paid by the waste industry, so I have to wonder about biases and influences.

Does anyone remember the first contract that Waste Industries proposed to the county? In the landfill (proposed for Moncure) there was going to be 7 types of trash allowed, but only 1 type of trash would generate any money for the county, so to reach this $2 Million dollar mark, we would need seven times the amount of trash! Is this issue resolved in the new proposal?

In addition, that particular Moncure landfill is 3 Miles away from Sanford's regional airport, where the FAA has a 5 Mile boundary limit around airports for landfills, due to bird problems, such as getting sucked into jet engines, which I hear the airport now supports jets. And the EPA has already designated the Moncure area as a cluster area, unfortunately for its citizens, a "Bad Air Quality" cluster area. Are there works already to get waivers for these? I would imagine that a landfill does add pollution to an already bad air problem.

There was another point in that link, that Waste Industries own 980 in Moncure. If anyone remembers the first contract, they proposed a 200-acre landfill, but there was a clause in that contract saying that with written notice to the county, they could expand the landfill, now this article is stating 980 acres. Is this thing growing? Are we now looking at almost a 1,000-acre landfill in Chatham County - or is it a hunting preserve? Gene, our moderator, presented an article a few years back that said they purchased the land for hunting - so is it hunting preserve or a dump?

While I realize many Chatham residents have different opinions on things, the one thing many of us agree on is we do not want garbage trucks barreling down our roads with garbage from Virginia, Tennessee, etc., even other counties, not even mentioning that Chatham County is one of top county in recycling and composting.

I am think that given any of the above conditions, it is likely that the landfill in Moncure would contested in court, and with the airport and air issues, it would be tied up for years - just look at the Holly Spring Residents who fought their dump. While they lost, it took years, and this was even after their commissioners agreed to the landfill.

In our case, if any commissioner agrees to this landfill in Chatham County, they most likely be voted out of office before one shovel of dirt is removed, and by now most anyone who wants to run for office in this county knows the level of campaigning they have to do to win.

So instead of simply proposing a landfill, regional no less, and given that some form of compact ordinance, in one shape or form is going to pass. Are the commissioners really looking at this Moncure landfill and the costs of time and money to fight it, or are they really looking at Chatham County's trash and what to do with it as a whole. Otherwise, the trash generated by these new developments will continue to have to be shipped out, raising the county costs even more, while this issue ends up in State and Federal courts because of FAA and EPA concerns.


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Landfill in Moncure: What are the facts?

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