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Jun 14, 2011

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Fec

George House is really earning his fee. Shaming the landfill residents for not being clairvoyant is hilarious. Between these stunts and the repeating full page N&R ad from Waste Services, there's enough smoke for me to believe the fix is in. Also, having Waste Services employees appear before council seems heavy-handed. If we follow the money, always an effective political tactic, more heat should be put on the Gang of Four conservatives proposing this deal.

Fec

Sorry, I meant Waste Industries, not to be confused with Gate City Waste Services.

Bill Bush

Up here in Caswell County, about 20 years ago, we had a close call with BFI, a waste hauler/disposer, wanting to put in a 500 acre "Mega-Dump" as we called it. They assured us it was for "regional" waste only, but we were wary because of a railroad running alongside it. We were assured that our wariness was not unwarranted when we found that BFI was simultaneously in court arguing that garbage was a commodity in line with interstate commerce law that required providers to accept all garbage, regardless of origin. We were sure by then that the ultimate plan was for BFI to obtain the 2,000 undeveloped acres adjoining their original target land so that they could just boxcar in the NY/NJ garbage to bury it on us. YMMV.

Billy Jones

Bill Bush wrote: "They assured us it was for "regional" waste only, but we were wary because of a railroad running alongside it. We were assured that our wariness was not unwarranted when we found that BFI was simultaneously in court arguing that garbage was a commodity in line with interstate commerce law that required providers to accept all garbage, regardless of origin."

I'm not arguing the point but I do see that argument as a sort of chicken and egg question. Under that assumption, Greensboro could be forced to accept waste from outside of our area but also, under the same assumption, Greensboro could force someone else to accept Greensboro's waste.

I wonder how the judge ruled in that case?

Reality is: Greensboro should use the White Street Landfill because it's Greensboro's garbage. Every community in America should be required to take care of its own garbage within the corporate limits of the city. Greensboro shouldn't be sending our garbage out of town and Greensboro shouldn't be accepting garbage from elsewhere.

Only when people wake up and realize that our trash is our problem and should not be pushed off on others or handed down to our grandchildren will the problem be dealt with in a reasonable and efficient manner.

We need to reopen White Street to municipal waste.
We don't need to send our waste elsewhere.
We don't need a 3rd party company to handle this for us as we already have one of the most efficient pick-up services in the nation and a landfill that has been praised by the institutions that govern landfill management in North Carolina.

Landfills are 21st Century gold minds. Men like DH Griffin and the management at Waste Industries are well aware of that fact. That's the business they're already working towards. That's why they want our landfill under their control. While these companies don't appear to be currently working in W2E (Waste 2 Energy) their biggest competitors are. Waste Industries and Gate City Waste Services are without a doubt moving towards W2E not to mention the $Millions of dollars of scrap metals that lie at the bottom of the White Street Landfill waiting to be mined.

$Millions of dollars the taxpayers shouldn't be forced to give away.

Why not put a landfill is some other part of the city? Simple: There is no other piece of available property in Guilford County that meets State and Federal standards.

Greensboro should buy the houses closest to the Landfill and pay above market rates for inconveniencing the people who live there. Then build an entrance from US 29 and East Cone Blvd-- a road they're already committed to building and have already rough graded. The cost of building the new road is the same as 1 year of hauling our garbage out of town.

But alas, no matter how it ends the wrong decision will be made.

Roch101

Interesting commentary, Billy. Do you expect any eventual contract to address who owns the contents of the landfill?

Account Deleted

Has anyone heard about the potential private landfill that Oak Ridge developer Kevan Combs wants to put in RockCo just outside of Eden and located on property that is bounded by the Dan River?

Many folks up here are concerned about the potential that Billy and Bill Bush raise, of outside waste and the eventuality of a sale to a larger, private firm.

Here are some documents I gathered related to the project, which may go before the planning board in July.

Combs has stated that this landfill could be part of the solution for Greensboro's trash debate.

Roch101

A landfill on the Dan River? What's the problem?

Abner

An unanswered Information Request and the ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY OF GREENSBORO

http://triadwatch.blogspot.com/2011/06/unanswered-information-request-and.html

Why was a private attorney hired to represent the City of Greensboro for the Landfill court case, how much is it going to cost, and why isn't the legal department representing the city?

http://triadwatch.blogspot.com/2011/06/why-was-private-attorney-hired-to.html

Have any City of Greensboro City Council Members or Guilford County Commissioners received campaign donations from anyone involved with the White Street Landfill contract?

http://triadwatch.blogspot.com/2011/06/have-any-city-of-greensboro-city.html

I spoke to someone who knows of the owner of the Glass landfill out by the White Street Landfill. He/she told me of taking refuse from all over the place. Especially chemical related refuse, that was brought in from out of town and "transfered" onto the trucks accepted at the Landfill as being "local".

This looks like the same thing only different.

Fec

The N&R has reported Kowalewski was involved in the financing.

Mick

What has Duke basketball got to do with anything.... Geeze.

Fred Gregory

I saw that misleading headline , Fec.

Kowalewski is not involved with the White St landfil. If that is what you are saying.

Fec

I seem to remember the allegation being subsequently refuted. Please excuse my inability to believe it.

Hugh

" why isn't the legal department representing the city? "

Because the city's attorney isn't licensed to practice law in the state of NC?

Abner

If "the city's attorney isn't licensed to practice law in the state of NC", and other City of Greensboro Attorneys are, what the fcuk are we paying for?

Hugh

"what the fcuk are we paying for?"

The City Manager's friend to have a job?

Billy Jones

Roch asked, "Interesting commentary, Billy. Do you expect any eventual contract to address who owns the contents of the landfill?"

I suspect this is one of those things that the contractors are hoping will simply fall between the cracks in the hopes that landfill mining can take place without being known to the public. It doesn't quite fall under the jurisdiction of most of the State and Federal agencies that might regulate it and if they're careful about environmental impact they'll simply skate on by leaving the landfill only half filled 15 years from now.

Billy Jones

Abner wrote: "I spoke to someone who knows of the owner of the Glass landfill out by the White Street Landfill. He/she told me of taking refuse from all over the place. Especially chemical related refuse, that was brought in from out of town and "transfered" onto the trucks accepted at the Landfill as being "local".

This looks like the same thing only different."

In the interest of clarification, I knew Bill Glass and I remember his landfill next to White Street. I used to fish his pond there and played on his bulldozer. But Bill Glass later operated a second landfill in McLeansville. I helped my daddy unload at Mr Glass's first landfill and hauled to his second landfill on my own. You appear to be confusing the two different landfills.

Mr Glass's landfill next to White Street was first used by the US Army and Vicks Chemical Company. Cone Mills, the City of Greensboro and most everyone else in Greensboro used it at one time or another. What's in there and where it came from is anyone's guess. Anyone could dump anything at Mr Glass's first landfill provided they paid tipping fees. That landfill predates most regulations, State, Federal or otherwise and was in no way restricted as to where the stuff came from. As were most landfills back then.

So there was no reason for transferring from truck to truck as he could take in anything he wanted to take in and not break any laws.

Mr Glass's second landfill was/is supposed to be limited to C&D (Construction and Demolition) waste. He was in no way limited to where it came from but you can bet a contractor wouldn't knowingly drive past another C&D landfill to get to Mr Glass's landfill even when fuel was .30 cents per gallon because time is money and tipping fees are always close at competing landfills.

So again, there was no reason for transferring from truck to truck.

I have heard stories of contractors who deliberately dumped things into Mr Glass's second landfill that were not supposed to go there but that is a constant battle for every landfill, transfer station and recycler. As a certified transfer station operator and recycler I have literally caught hundreds of people dumping things I wasn't allowed to accept. When we saw it happen it went back on the vendor/contractors' trucks and repeating offenders were forever banned. Occasionally, when things were slammed, someone pulled one over on us but as luck would have it I never had to deal with any illegal dumping of hazmats that couldn't be easily handled.

I'm sure some things have ended up in Mr Glass's Mcleansville landfill that shouldn't be there but my guess is he stopped it when he caught it. It's pretty damned easy to hide things in a dump truck full of debris and sadly most people simply don't care where it goes as long as it leaves their truck.

By the way, part of the reasoning behind the original placement of the White Street Landfill was because Bill Glass was already operating a landfill next door and no one lived next to the landfill except Mr Glass.

Abner

Wow....Great info Billy.

Occam suggests clarification would most likely reveal the source,
therefore I withdraw.
.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor
.
I believe the antecdote was told of the second landfill.
.
.
.
"It's pretty damned easy to hide things in a dump truck full of debris and sadly most people simply don't care where it goes as long as it leaves their truck."

Agreed.

So why not try to minimize the chances of proliferation?
.
.
.
"part of the reasoning behind the original placement of the White Street Landfill was because Bill Glass was already operating a landfill next door and no one lived next to the landfill except Mr Glass."

So how did all the homes show up?

Who approved the zoning?

Who was on City Council at the time?

Who was the City Manager?

Abner

Chem company trucks to trash trucks.

Billy Jones

Abner asked, "So why not try to minimize the chances of proliferation?"

The White Street Landfill is one of the best managed landfills in the nation. It's on-site management teaches required classes to public and private landfill operators and owners throughout the Southeast. They are extremely well qualified and very diligent-- more so than most landfills. My own certifications were taught by these very same people.

The idiots and crooks are voted into office-- the employees on the ground at White Street are outstanding. For the most part.

I do not support turning White Street over to 3rd party contractors-- never have-- but think our landfill should be operated by the City of Greensboro and the capable, highly trained staff we are already paying to do the job. We've no way of knowing how well a 3rd party might comply until after they're caught red handed. I don't know about you but I tend to have the most trust in those I already know.

As I've noted from the beginning: Greensboro's trash is and should always be Greensboro's problem. Shipping trash from point A to Point B, no matter where those points happen to be, is inefficient, unproductive, environmentally unsound, riskier and expensive. Fuel isn't going to go down and 8 mile per gallon trucks burn a lot of fuel. Trash haulers have to drive on the same roads the rest of us drive on-- reduce the distance and you reduce the risk as well as the cost. Landfills are equipped to deal with spills on-site and have fire and ems nearby. The same can't always be said for truck drivers and highways. A trash hauler illegally hauling toxins to some remote landfill puts us all in more risk than if the same trash hauler attempts to deliver the same load locally.

Modern landfills like White Street are operated as transfer stations first, landfills second. Before the trash is buried it is sorted through, checked for banned items and many recyclables are removed for sale. No one has even talked about the scrap metals that many residents toss in their garbage cans. In terms of iron and steel, White Street could possibly match the tonnage collected via the City's 3rd party recycling operations. Have you been watching scrap metal prices? They may not be as high as they were in spring 2008 but they have recovered quite nicely. We've already given away the "gold" in the brown cans and now you want to give away the "gold" in the green cans as well?

Not to mention future landfill mining.


Abner continues:

":So how did all the homes show up?

Who approved the zoning?

Who was on City Council at the time?

Who was the City Manager?"

I'm not certain but I think some of the names you're looking for are still active in local politics, some are retired and some work for a certain large local non profit foundation that has its fingers very deep in local and state politicians' pockets.

From your other comment: "Chem company trucks to trash trucks."

Now I've a better understanding of what you're talking about. Someone should be going after chemical companies and trash haulers instead of only landfill operators.

Billy Jones

Here's video everyone in Greensboro should see before we give away our landfill.

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