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Raleigh Says Bye-Bye to Disposals

Posted March 17, 2008

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— Raleigh began disposing of garbage disposals Monday, banning new or replacement installations. But opponents to the ban plan to put the City Council through the grinder over the move.

The disposal ban, which the City Council approved two weeks ago, is among the first in the country. Violators face fines of up to $25,000 per day.

Under the ban, homeowners can continue to use existing disposals, but no new devices can be installed and existing ones can't be replaced when they quit working. Homes that have obtained city permits and are already under construction will be allowed to keep their disposals, officials said.

Some builders and residents said they would protest the disposal ban at Tuesday's council meeting.

"I don't think this has been handled properly at all," resident Caroline McCall said. "I feel that it was a knee-jerk reaction."

City officials said putting food and grease through a disposal and into the municipal sewer system clogs the lines and frequently causes back-ups and overflows.

Raleigh has had almost 100 sewer overflows in the last three years, with raw sewage sometimes flowing into area streams. The state Division of Water Quality has threatened to fine the city for each overflow if it doesn't correct the problem.

Mayor Charles Meeker said disposals also waste about 500,000 gallons of water a day citywide.

"I suspect that, once the public understands the environmental problems and the water wasted, they'll understand this is the right thing to do," Meeker said.

McCall and developer Richard Gaylord said they don't understand the city's action.

"They have no way of knowing if the grease spill (causing a sewer overflow) came from a garbage disposal or where the grease came from," McCall said.

"I don't think people had forewarning," Gaylord said. "I think there is some confusion out there as to how this will be implemented and what the parameters are."

The ban also has come under fire from City Councilman Philip Isley, who missed the March 4 vote on the issue, and from the mayors of Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon.

The six towns are part of the municipal water and sewer system, so Raleigh's regulations apply to residents in those towns as well. The other mayors said they should have been consulted before Raleigh enacted the disposal ban.

Isley said he plans to ask council members to take a step back and study the issue in committee, but he said he might not have the votes to support the move.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • oldcmag Mar 18, 2008

    NEXT it will be long black boots and funny little mustaches for everyone ! Just you try to to take my disposal " I bought a extra while it was not a crime to do so " Try standing for something that matters Mr Meeker ! A $25,000 fine ! Why not your house and first born , If your going to be unreal let's be unreal !

  • Frank Downtown Mar 18, 2008

    Nothing should go down your pipes but water and poo anyway! Compost your veggies@

  • chfdcpt Mar 18, 2008

    Glad I am not in the Raleigh water system

  • enigma1469 Mar 18, 2008

    Inspectors will now peep into your windows late at night to enforce this new rule.

  • 1Packfan Mar 18, 2008

    Sad thing is - this is making NATIONAL headlines! A business associate in Atlanta called me this morning and mentioned he heard about it on their news last night.

    Common sense comes into play with this. Use your disposal the way you are supposed to and no problems. People that poor grease down the disposal are just as likely to do that with a drain.

    if Meeker is looking to curb growth - then I think he's found a way to do it. My next house search most likely will be beyond Wake County limits. He may have just kissed my tax $ goodbye!

  • Tiezane Mar 18, 2008

    I sent an email to Mayor Meeker and Rodger Koopman as well, and got the same email back from Koopman. Looks like he must have gotten flooded with messages last night! Write to your Councilman, people!

  • magicbus Mar 18, 2008

    Chris234...went home last night and signed your petition even though I don't even have a disposal!

    Apparently a lot of people on here are all talk, no action! Just like my girlfriend!!!!

  • misschris234 Mar 18, 2008

    "GOLO isn't as popular as you might think. Folks read the articles and move on - most people who do take the time to read news articles don't care to share opinions or read the opinion of others - thus they would not know of the petition either."

    I'm not counting on the popularity of Golo... I realize many people don't read Golo. I was counting on the people that have been outraged on here, getting the word out. Plus, it's been sent to some pretty high profile sites... but I think many people just don't care or don't want to take the time. Many people haven't finalized their signatures on there as well. This was only one of the places the petitions was placed. Then again, it happens during Spring Break and a week when many are on vacation, which is typical. Hopefully tonight will go the right way, it's good to see council members thinking twice about this.

  • SEOpro Mar 18, 2008

    "We still have less than 100 people that have signed the petition... so I'm guessing there aren't as many people upset, and they are probably all on here... or the general public just doesn't understand what is going on"

    GOLO isn't as popular as you might think. Folks read the articles and move on - most people who do take the time to read news articles don't care to share opinions or read the opinion of others - thus they would not know of the petition either.

  • Reb3Flag Mar 18, 2008

    Welcome comrade to the Peoples Republic of North Karolina.