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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Since at least the 1980s New Hanover County Commissioners have debated what to do with the county’s trash. After a work session on the issue today, the debate continues.

“We haven’t accomplished anything at all,” Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said.

Waste Industries and Waste Management have submitted proposals to haul the county’s trash away. Both plans include taking it out of county, which would increase the tipping fee per ton from $59 to $61 or $81 depending on the plan.

“Being on this board since 2008, looking at all the data I’ve looked at, all the reports I’ve looked at, it all leads to one conclusion,” Barfield said.

For Barfield that conclusion is neither of the current proposals, but to refurbish the county’s old WASTEC facility.

“The recommendation then was pretty much the same as our staff is making now,” Barfield said. “The county can handle our waste management better than anyone else can.”

But other commissioners disagree and think the private sector can do it better.

“Keeping things the status quo, in my opinion, is not an option,” Commissioner Beth Dawson said.

She says the answer to this problem can be found in Waste Industries or Waste Management.

“We need to save our landfill in an environmentally and economically sound manner,” Dawson said.

Commissioners say the landfill is an asset to the county, because very few permits are issued for landfills in the eastern part of the state.

Commission Chair Woody White was also not convinced by the reports he saw today. He asked Waste Industries and Waste Management to come prepared with presentations to the next meeting and be ready to answer any more questions commissioners may have.

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