Greensboro, NC -- The Greensboro City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to instruct the city manager to begin contract negotiations with Gate Waste Services to reopen Phase 3 of the White Street landfill.
The motion included the stipulation that the landfill only accept trash from within the City Of Greensboro. Supporters of reopening the landfill estimate it will save the city 7 million dollars a year.
Jim Kee, Dianne Bellamy-Small and Robbie Perkins voted against the motion. Mayor Bill Knight, Danny Thompson, Trudy Wade and Mary Rakestraw voted in favor. Zach Matheny and Nancy Vaughn were absent.
By reopening a portion of the landfill that already exists (Phase 3), the council was able to bypass a judge's ruling that blocked expansion of the landfill. The landfill closed to commercial waste in 2006.
Tuesday's vote is a short term solution to Greensboro's trash collection needs. The question remains, what do cities like Greensboro need to be thinking about ten, fifteen, even twenty years out.
Doctor Godfrey Uzochukwu is the Director of the Waste Management Institute at North Carolina A&T State University.
Uzo, as he's known to most, said looking five years down the road is not enough.
Solving the problem of running out of room takes multiple solutions, creativity and technology.
"It costs more because it's new but as time goes on the benefits outweigh all the headaches in trying to produce that," explained Uzochukwu.
Uzo said new ideas of converting garbage into energy come into play, but old ideas of recycling still remain an important part.
He believes solutions will come out of necessity and teaching young people new solutions is preparing them to help come up with answers.
"We manage waste in order to improve the quality of our lives. If we don't it's going to be a very big problem for people. People will start dying," concluded Uzochukwu.
WFMY News 2