With their meeting room at the Southern Human Services Center overflowing with onlookers, the Orange County Board of Commissioners inched closer to finalizing a list of possible sites for a proposed solid waste transfer station.
Consultants for the project presented county leaders with a report detailing their findings and a ranked list of ten possible locations before proposing that it be further whittled down to the top six. (A map of the prospective sites can be found below.)
But the commissioners balked at the prospect of moving forward before the "community based criteria" could be applied to the list, a move that board chairman, Barry Jacobs, all but guaranteed would give the environmental justice advocates and Rogers Road community residents in attendance a result with which they "would be pleased."
The board caused an uproar last fall after deciding that the historically black neighborhood, and current home of the county's now thirty-five-year-old and rapidly filling landfill, would remain the drop off point for the 60,000 tons of waste generated by Orange County residents each year.
Commissioners later reopened the selection process amidst protests by the the community's residents, many of whom attended Tuesday's meeting to demand that the Eubanks Road site be dropped from consideration.
Said Rev. Robert Cambell, head of the Coalition to End Environmental Racism, "To place the waste transfer station on Eubanks means, once again, no environmental justice for this community."
Other speakers were surprised to find that the two sites ranked highest on the list were in Hillsborough, and expressed worry that that their own town would become home to the new station.
"I'd hate to tell people, 'Who needs Google, all you need to do to find Hillsborough is follow the garbage trucks,'" lamented Jo Soulier.
The board is scheduled to take up the issue again in October.