by Joe Schwartz
Community members in the Bingham Township and the Rogers Road neighborhood celebrated Monday night as the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 last night to send its trash to Durham.
The vote brought to an end a two-year process in which residents of both communities had to stave off pushes to build a waste transfer station in their backyards. Durham's waste transfer station has enough capacity to include Orange, though a final agreement is yet to be hammered out.
Laura Streitfeld, chairwoman of Preserve Rural Orange, a nonprofit citizen group that seeks to protect watershed, farms and woodlands, was relieved and thankful for the decision.
"We were pleased to find the all the community input was heard and really did matter," she said.
The board needed to decide what to do with solid waste when the county landfill closes in 2012. Hundreds packed board meetings for several months on every side of the issue. Those from the Rogers Road community, where two sites were considered, argued that they'd lived next door to the landfill for 37 years, and they had dealt with that burden long enough. Those in Bingham Township said the Howell Property of N.C. 54 would bring dangerous trucks and pollution their way.
Streitfeld credited commissioners for listening, being open to a new direction and for sharing information at every step. She says Preserve Rural Orange, though satisfied with the outcome, won't rest.
"We're very pleased to be spared form this development, but we'll remain vigilant about any other plans coming this way," she said.