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Carrboro Board of Aldermen Move Away From Solid Waste Authority

By Michael Papich Posted June 21, 2013 at 7:30 am

CARRBORO – The Orange County landfill is closing at the end of the month, and while Carrboro does not yet have a plan for what it will do with its solid waste, the town’s Board of Aldermen came together to agree on what they would not do: create a solid waste authority.

In early June, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen met, and most expressed a desire to create a disposal facility or transfer station, but not an authority. David Andrews, Carrboro’s town manager, explained that Carrboro would not be able to regulate and manage an authority like they could a town utility.

“An authority would have its own separate board,” Andrews said. “It would be a separate agency.”

Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton says he feels creating an authority is a way for municipal officials to avoid taking a stand on how to clean up waste in the town.

“I have a problem with the notion of assuming that that’s going to be some sort of solution; that somehow, we won’t have to have any intestinal fortitude on the part of the elected officials if we create an authority,” Chilton said. “That’s not correct.”

Like the Orange Water and Sewage Authority (OWASA), any authority approved by Carrboro and others would still have some of the surrounding town’s input in its decision making, according to Andrews.

“Presumably, if it worked like OWASA, each of the municipalities could appoint a certain number of members to the authority’s board,” Andrews says.

As far as Mayor Chilton sees it, the local governments have not had a good record when it comes to managing and disposing of solid waste.

“As long as the local governments have the zoning power, then it’s really going to be up to the local governments to go along with or trip up any solid waste management proposal that comes along,” Chilton says. “And so far, for the last 22 years that I’ve been paying attention, every time it’s been trip it up.”

Mayor Chilton adds that if the town of Carrboro ultimately wanted a solid waste authority, he would have no problem with the creation of one.

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