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Rockingham County Landfill Strategic Plan To Be Presented

7:57 PM, Jan 17, 2013   |    comments
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Wentworth, NC -- A review ordered by Rockingham County commissioners about a proposed landfill has revealed the county has no need for it.

The proposed project has been a source of contention in the county since 2011.

County officials paid consultants $89,000 for the study.
Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc., Solid Waste Management Consultants will present the findings at a Thursday night commissioners meeting.

Click here for a background on this story.

County manager, Lance Metzler says it was money well-spent.
"We want to make sure our landfills are here for our children, their children's children, we expect to provide for us. We want to make sure that our citizens are taken care of first,' he said.

According to Metzler, the study's confirmation that county officials are operating the existing landfill well was well worth the money. But most importantly, he adds, the new recommendations for efficiency and maximizing resources at the landfill could save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Thomas Harrington, who chairs a local advocacy group, agrees with the county manager.

His group, Will Of The People, was opposed to the proposal for a new landfill and a public-private partnership which was discussed during that process.

"90 percent of the people in this county were strongly opposed to this," Harrington said before reading the group's motto from a card. "No person is fit to sit on a governing board that does not recognize that the will of the people is the fundamental law of free government."

Harrington says the study and the results show the county is taking a step in the right direction.

Highlights of the study results include recommendations for increasing the compaction rate, improve recycling and cultivate naturally produced methane gas from the landfill.

Metzler explains that adopting just the recommendation to sell methane gas to Duke Energy, would make taxpayers more than $500,000.

"It identified several that we need to look at for improvement but it also showed that we are doing a good job at the landfill. And using the tax dollars for the county wisely," said Ronnie Tate.

Tate runs the operations at the county's existing landfill.

"If we can spend 89 thousand dollars to save millions of dollars I'm for that," he said.


Meanwhile, Bev Wilcox, the vice president of the Libertarian Party and resident of the county says the study was unnecessary. She says a private company would do a better job running a landfill.

"To hear that the landfill is wonderful and great and that we don't need a private landfill is exactly what they wanted to hear and I would have told them that for a lot less than $89,000. That just seems like a waste of money," she said.

Rockingham County

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