LUMBERTON — Robeson County could profit by as much as $2 million to $3 million a year by allowing trash from New Hanover County to be disposed of in the Robeson County Landfill in St. Pauls, according to the county’s Solid Waste director.
Steve Edge said Wednesday that the county is considering entering into a contract with New Hanover County and Waste Management to haul Hanover trash to Robeson for 10 years, with the option of renewing the contract for two additional five-year periods. New Hanover County, the home of the port city of Wilmington, is planning to “mothball its landfill” because of limited space and ship its trash out of the county for disposal, Edge said.
“They want to still keep their landfill permit open in case they re-open it at a later date,” Edge said.
Edge said that New Hanover County generates about 200,000 tons of solid waste a year, including 60,000 tons from construction and demolition. How much of the total waste stream would be transported to Robeson County’s landfill would depend on how New Hanover County decides it wants to dispose of the waste generated through construction and demolition.
The Robeson County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. Friday at the county administration building on North Elm Street to consider the proposed contract. The contract is “not yet a done deal,” Edge said, because New Hanover County officials have not decided if they will choose Waste Management or another company, Waste Industries, to haul their trash out of the county. If Waste Management does not get the contract, expected to be awarded later this month, Robeson County would not be involved in the deal, Edge said.
Edge said that Robeson County’s landfill has more than enough space to handle the amount of trash that would be coming from New Hanover.
“We have plenty of room for future growth, with enough air space to keep us going for 60 years and beyond,” he said. “If we were to keep operating as we are now, the landfill would probably be able to remain open for at least another 80 years.”
Edge said that the additional trash load will also not harm the environment or negatively impact human health. Also, he said that he anticipates that at least an additional five or six jobs will be created at the landfill.