Local News

Chatham halts search for new landfill

Posted January 18, 2011 7:06 p.m. EST

— The Chatham County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted to halt the county's effort to identify a potential landfill site and asked residents to help find alternatives to dispose of the county’s waste in the future.

“This is a critical decision that impacts all residents," Commissioner Walter Petty said. "We do have a responsibility to deal with the county’s waste, but we also have a responsibility to make sure that we have fully explored all options, including emerging alternatives.”

Petty noted that neighboring Randolph County is developing a regional landfill, which could be an option for the county for the near future.

Although Chatham County officials also explored the idea of opening a regional landfill, he said, "We clearly heard from many residents that they are opposed to a regional landfill.”

Citing the potential environmental impact from a landfill, Commissioner Pam Stewart said the county needs to “take another look to be sure this is the right thing to do."

Petty challenged residents to work with the county's Solid Waste Advisory Committee to find the best solution. He said residents might have to pay more for waste disposal without a landfill, something that landfill opponents said they would be willing to do.

“It’s possible that we may end up back where we are now, with a recommendation for a landfill of some type, but I am hopeful that extensive involvement and positive teamwork will help us move the county in the right direction,” he said.

The commissioners' decision means that all community meetings on where to locate a landfill, which were scheduled through early next month, have been canceled.