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Swain trash site changes go into effect Sept. 1

Swain trash site changes go into effect Sept. 1

Beginning Sept. 1, Swain County residents will notice some big changes when they go to drop off their trash and recycling at the convenience center. 

The trash and recycling drop-off site on Old U.S. 19 in Bryson City will no longer be open 24 hours a day. With the installation of five new and expensive compactors, the site will be fenced in and open to the public only from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. during daylight savings time and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. the rest of the year. The site will be closed on Sundays and holidays. 

County Manager Kevin King said implementing the changes would be a learning process to see what works and what doesn’t. However, in the long run, he said the changes would save the county money, keep the trash site cleaner and cut down on illegal dumping. 

Commissioner Ben Bushyhead said he had concerns about traffic flow in and out of the site once the fencing goes up. 

“We may create another situation where employees can’t get people through the site quick enough and traffic may back up on (U.S.) 19,” he said. 

King said the site can fit 10 vehicles at a time at the compactors and have four cars waiting inside the gate without traffic backing up on the road. 

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The county is funding these upgrades through a $132,000 grant from the state and a $250,000 loan. The five trash compactors are sealed tight, which will prevent any leakage of solid or liquid waste. The compactors will be emptied on a regular basis by a new front-loading truck purchased by the county. 

Convenience site supervisor Scott Turpin told commissioners last week that the concrete pads were being poured to sit the compactors on and everything was on track to be up and running by Sept. 1. 

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