Council withdraws opposition; residents don't

The Wilmington City Council no longer opposes the presence of a Hugo Neu recycling facility in Navassa. It's a controversial stance many residents disagree with.

"It not only affects us, it affects our future children and the surrounding area," says Meg Scharrer, who opposed the recycling plant. "We have absolutely no voice. The citizens are opposed to it."

Residents fear the piles of appliances and cars will not only be a huge eye sore, but will release hazardous toxins into the Cape Fear River.

The facility will encompass 170 acres and could rise as high as 350 feet off the ground.

The proposed site is in northern Brunswick County, off Mount Misery Road, in the town of Navassa.

Officials in Navassa approved the project in July. They say the site will generate millions of much needed dollars for the town.

Officials from Hugo Neu say no toxic materials will be processed at the plant, and it could create at least 40 jobs for the area.

After Wilmington's City Council issued a statement of opposition to the plant two months ago, Councilwomen Lethia Hankins and Katherine Moore began an effort to repeal the statement.

Councilwoman Hankins said during the discussion that it was time to start thinking of the people of Brunswick County.

Mayor Pro Tem Laura Padgett, the only council member to vote against the measure, said she believed the Hugo Neu recycling center was only a temporary fix to the problems in Navassa. She added and that it could prevent a larger company, that would provide more jobs, from locating to the region.

The council withdrew their opposition in a six to one vote Tuesday night.

Reported by Ashley Hayes