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It’s been a long, drawn out and ultimately expensive process.
For months, the Brunswick County Planning Board has heard testimony and reviewed information supporting and opposing the county’s proposal to expand its current construction and demolition landfill.
After expending more than $200,000 in attempt to get a permit, which would allow future build-out of some 259.25 acres near the current landfill off U.S. 17 near Galloway Road, planning board members said no.
Had it been approved, the expansion would have likely taken about 100 years before it would have been filled with what now is mostly sheet rock and lumber.
Neighbors in the nearby Royal Oak community were the most outspoken about the proposal. They were represented by an attorney during the proceedings and have also filed a civil lawsuit against the county alleging racial discrimination.
Now that the expansion appears to be off the table, the question that should concern all of us is, what is next? At current projections, county officials estimate the existing construction and demolition landfill could be full within about five years. It may be sooner if the area’s building and construction sectors move forward in the way many hope they will after sluggish growth in recent years.
It may be even sooner should Brunswick County have the misfortune of encountering the wrath of a tornado or hurricane that causes extensive damage anytime within the next five years.
When that happens, where will construction and demolition debris go?
At this time, Waste Management trucks our municipal waste—all of that stuff you leave out by the curb each week in your trashcan—out of the county. Is the expectation the same will be done with this other debris? Do those who oppose the expansion suggest the county invest substantial taxpayer dollars to buy more land and put it somewhere else? What if it does and permits fall through?
The reality is no one wants to look out a window or door and see a landfill, but it has to go somewhere.
No one—no matter which race or community—wants to see the ramifications our throwaway society has on the communities where we live. But a solution is needed and it’s needed soon.
Let’s hope a decision is reached quickly, long before we realize we have nowhere else for it to go.
What do you think the county should do with construction and demolition debris once the current landfill is full? Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.