NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The clock is ticking on the effort to add 90 acres of land to the New Hanover County landfill.
The Board of Commissioners approved a Special Use Permit for the expansion site Tuesday, but Environmental Management Director Joe Suleyman said there is more work to be done.
The permitting process from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources is expected to take a couple of years, according to Suleyman. He anticipates that last cell of the current landfill to last about three and a half years.
"We're going to need to move into that southern property pretty quickly," Suleyman said.
The extra land would give the landfill an extra 45 years of life, according to Suleyman. He considers that a minimum estimate while accounting for an increasing population in Southeast North Carolina.
"That's just business as usual," he said. "We need to have things in place to make sure we're not only picking up that additional waste generation, but we're also cutting back on it."
Those efforts include recycling, yard waste pickup and a long-term goal of an education center at the landfill.
"What better way to teach children the benefits of recycling then a trip to the landfill?" he said.
The expansion land is larger than the 90 acres set aside for waste. The remaining two-thirds would be used for the department's conservation effort. Part of the county's SUP calls for cooperation with the NC Natural Heritage Group to protect any rare or threatened species that have been identified on the property.
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