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Panel met Thursday night to discuss New Hanover County's trash issues

READ MORE: Panel met Thursday night to discuss New Hanover County's trash issues
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A panel of county leaders and journalists spent some of Thursday night discussing the best way to dispose of New Hanover County's growing loads of trash. The county's garbage goes to one of two places, the landfill or the WASTEC facility. At the WASTEC facility, the trash is burned in an incinerator, which boils water to generate steam, which powers turbine generators to produce electricity used in the facility. WASTEC's appeal is that it keeps trash out of the landfill. There is about 5,000 tons there, waiting to be burned. Environmental management director, John Hubbard said, "This is our first priority, because we reduce the volume by 85 percent by coming here. But if we can't take it all here, the rest goes to the landfill." About 60 percent of what is burned is actually converted to energy; the rest turns into ash, which is used to cover the landfill each day. But it is a costly process. "It's a complex issue and I want to be as frugal as I can with taxpayer dollars. If there's a better way to do things that is what I want to do," said Bobby Greer, New Hanover County Commission Chair. "There's more staff here, it's more complex, it requires more maintenance, so a waste energy plant is by nature more expensive," added Hubbard. The commissioners formed a Solid Waste Advisory Board, headed by Buck O'Shields, a WASTEC supporter. "It does reduce the volume whether you go by the cubic yard or by the pound," O’Shields said. O'Shields and his fellow board members will continue to gather information over the next few weeks, before presenting their recommendation to commissioners. That presentation is expected in January. O'Sheilds said it will likely include a recommendation to continue using the WASTEC facility.

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Where did this panel take

Where did this panel take place? Was it open to the public? This report does not say.