Snow Hill: The Landfill
In August 1997, the Greene County Board of Commissioners signed a contract with Republic Services of North Carolina (RSNC) to create a new regional solid waste landfill in the County. Greene County officials estimated that a new regional solid waste landfill would bring in approximately $1 million per year in revenue for 30 years. This revenue would help cover the costs of a new jail and upgrades to a sewer facility. Commissioners said that taxes would have to increase by 20% to cover these costs if the landfill were not built.
Greene County had among the lowest rates of waste disposal per capita in the state. However, approximately 1500 tons of garbage per day from surrounding North Carolina counties, and potentially from other states, would have been disposed into the planned landfill.
Four months after the 1997 agreement, before the Board of Commissioners voted on the site, RSNC purchased a 300-acre tract of land called Bridgers Tract. This site was located near Castoria, within one mile of each of the two existing landfills.
“We all became more aware of potential problems as we started . . . visiting other landfills in neighboring counties . . . We heard about the traffic volume and noise problems, the stench and impact on property values. Who wants to live next to a dump? . . . If we didn’t create the trash, then we shouldn’t have to be the repository for it.”