Cash-strapped counties in North Carolina have increasingly been the targets of private garbage carriers that are looking for cheap places to drop their loads. North Carolina has become a popular target due to its central location, cheap land, poor counties, and lack of dumping fee. A total of five dump sites are being explored. The sites are in different states of planning and picking up local opposition as they come.
The next dump spot that looks likely to get the go-ahead will be in Scotland County. The County Commission has approved an agreement with Waste Management on its first reading in October and is set to approve the final reading of the proposal for the landfill on January 2nd. The Commission also talks glowingly of their ability to be a waste receptacle in their minutes and their newsletter to employees.
I talked to some Scotland County residents that were opposed to the landfill last weekend. One told me "Yeah, I really want 20 states dumping their trash on my backyard." Another resident, who was recently required to stop his pig farming due to a new law, said that he was going to take out a full page ad in the paper telling the County Commission what hypocrites they were for stopping him because of concerns over smell and inviting garbage into the County.
The Charlotte Observer has a piece on all five of the proposed landfills here. They claim that the Scotland County landfill will bring in 250 trucks full of garbage a day. And another of the proposed landfills will eventually swell to 280 feet above ground level. From the Observer:
The cheap land, low costs and central location drawing northeastern transplants to North Carolina are turning out to be an attractive lure for their garbage, too.
Five proposed mega-landfills seeking permits stand out not only for their size -- up to three times larger than the biggest one now operating -- but for the amount of trash they would attract from other states.
The garbage they're estimated to bring in, at least 4 million tons a year, could make North Carolina the nation's fourth-largest waste importer.
And the garbage carriers know that they are not wanted:
Waste companies, said one industry official, are looking for large tracts of land with good transportation networks "and as few voters as possible."
In order to stop North Carolina from being the dump and laughing stock of the rest of the country write J.D. Willis, Chairman of Scotland County Board of Commissioners at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him that we do not want the new landfill. Or sign the petition at
I will leave you with one of the dumbest, but not unexpected, lines from the Observer:
But nobody wants garbage as a neighbor, especially when its return address is out of state.