Local News

Wake County Looks For Long-Term Solution To Trash Problem

Posted January 13, 2005

— The chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners set out with six goals for the new year. One of them involves resolving the debate on what to do with the county's trash.

Trash is not a pretty sight, and it is definitely something Todd Redding does not want within a mile of his home.

"Wake County ought to think about whether they want people or trash here for the long-term," he said.

The North Wake landfill is scheduled to close in late 2007. For months, the county has been studying what to do after that. There are two main options: build a new landfill on the property in Holly Springs, or ship out more than 600,000 tons of trash every year.

Preliminary county numbers show the Holly Springs option would be $3 million to $6 million cheaper a year. Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears said the town's initial analysis draws a much different conclusion. He argues the county would actually save almost $700,000 each year by shipping out the trash.

"It doesn't make sense to build a landfill in Holly Springs, business-wise," he said.

With the growth of Holly Springs, the property off the new Highway 55 bypass is prime real estate. It is worth more than $16 million. Sears believes the county has more to gain in tax base if the land is developed.

The Wake County Board chairman does not want to put a landfill in a town growing by two families a day, but he said the county and its 12 municipalities have to make a decision based on economics, not emotion.

"As a citizen, you want to know your garbage is picked up, and we are trying to bring everyone together collaboratively to find a solution," said Joe Bryan, chairman of the Wake County commission.

A decision is expected by the spring. Richard Stevens was Wake County manager when the property for the landfill was first bought. Now a state senator, Stevens is against the Holly Spring landfill, because of all the growth there.

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