Oak Ridge Company Proposing Regional Landfill In Rockingham Co.

12:01 AM, Mar 16, 2012   |    comments
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Wentworth, NC-- Rockingham County residents packed a meeting room Thursday night to hear PBK and Advanced Disposal explain the private/public proposed management of the landfill. 

In May of 2011, PBK submitted an application to use a maximum of 350 of 400 acres for a materials recycling facility and solid waste disposal. The remaining land on the 1,750-acre property would be used to support "construction activities and landfill operations."

Click here to watch Meghan Packer's entire story from June 2011. 

Now, they've submitted another proposal to instead take over the county's landfill, expand and turn it into a regional landfill.
They would collect trash within a 75-mile radius - reaching as far north as parts of Virginia. 

Click here to read the new proposal.

Opponents of the proposal are lining up over concerns about pollution, jobs and property rights.

"There isn't a nice word. They just want to screw us," said Dan Higbee, an outspoken member of the resident opposition group "The Will of The People." 

"The landfill is going to be filled up and then what is Rockingham County going to have?" Florence Chandler, a county landfill employee asked rhetorically.

In the Thursday night meeting, commissioners grilled PBK and Advanced Disposal representatives - asking what they would do to address some of the concerns the community has raised. 
Higbee, for example, wants to know "what's that going to do to our home values? Our roads? Stop and think about it."

While the community members weren't allowed to talk during the meeting, they certainly made a statement. "The Will Of The People" came in force and held signs protesting the proposal.

One row in the meeting room was filled with county landfill employees who were there to hear what would happen to their jobs should the commissioners approve the proposal.

PBK has promised they'd take all the county employees but questions still linger about how benefits would work.

Others, like Sheryl Patton, just wanted to know more about the proposal.

"I think it made me feel better to hear what their ideas are our landfills, how we could better use the gas that's out there," she said after the meeting.

"It's my daughter. I know i won't be around to see these things happen but she'll be here and i have to think about her future,": Chandler said. 

Stone echoed many of the members in the protest group: "We're doing fine; I don't think we need [a regional landfill]."

Commission Chair Keith Mabe says the board needs to know more before they make any decision. 

"Right now they want you to buy a house and sign a contract but we're not going to talk about the price until later and that's not the right way to do it," Mabe said.

Mabe says the commission has set an April 2nd meeting to hear the public's opinion.

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