To the Editor:
On Nov. 5 the Haywood commisioners were scheduled to accept bids from private corporations to run the landfill for a 20- to 30-year period with “no limitations on the sources of waste,” according to the bid documents.
This was before any public hearing or referendum. An alternate proposal would close the landfill and take Haywood’s trash to a mega-dump in South Carolina.
Two of the three bidders currently run dumps. Both are multi-state corporations. One runs dumps in nine states. Both take in waste from outside counties for a fee.
Mega-dumps take in around 2,000 tons a day. Fees at these mega-dumps are higher for industrial and low-level toxic waste, which are allowed in municipal landfills if the county reqeusts permitting. The county is asking for a percentage of the fees per ton dumped, so more hazardous waste brings more money.
My question is this: since Haywood County attracts residents because of its beautiful mountains and our main industry — tourism— relies on the same assets, then why rush to make such a momentous decision? Why not a public hearing or a referendum on an issue that can have such a momentous impact? Is accepting a long-term contract for dumping outside waste in our county in the best interest of our people? Why the rush, commissioners?