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August 2006


North Carolina Senate approves moratorium on state landfills

A North Carolina Senate committee unanimously approved an 18-month moratorium on new landfills including four proposed landfills that when combined would have almost doubled North Carolina’s landfill capacity.

“We all know that landfills are an integral part of the state and of economic growth,” said Senator Clark Jenkins, (D-Edgecombe), the bill’s sponsor. “However, we’ve got to take a look at these mega-landfills before we move forward.”

One facility in Camden County would take in 10,000 tons of garbage each day from the East Coast and as far away as Michigan. Currently, the state landfill with the highest volume of waste is the Charlotte Motor Speedway facility, which takes in about 3,500 tons per day.

All the major facilities in Camden, Brunswick, Hyde and Columbus Counties are currently under review.

While landfill opponents indicate that trash could contaminate groundwater supplies and harm fragile ecosystems, Greg Peverall, a consultant for Waste Management, said the landfills instead protect the environment by safely storing trash. He added that a number of North Carolina landfills will reach capacity over the next decade.

Dexter Matthews, the director of waste management for North Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources, said the bill’s exceptions allow existing landfills to expand, which will help the state meet its needs during the moratorium.

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