On Tuesday evening, the Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on recycling. There has been a change in the way the law is being interpreted which makes the current fee system questionable. Currently the county is divided into 3 sections. Some of the rural community pays for 2 of the 3R fees (availability and convenience centers) and the portion of the rural community that gets curbside collection on recycling pays for those same 2 + an additional fee of $38 for collections. A new funding source is needed for the curbside collections portion of the fee (a service that effects about 13,000 residents).
The county is considering 3 options to get around this legal issue. 1) go to a solid waste authority (like OWASA) that would be a separate operational and financial unit, 2) create 3 solid waste tax districts, or 3) eliminate curbside collection for neighborhoods outside of a city limit.
The tax district is the most feasible option. To continue offering curbside collection, they would impose a tax of roughly $0.011 (just over 1 penny) per $1,000 of tax valuation of our homes. For homes valued at around $300,000 the tax would roughly equal the current fee.
I value our county recycling program and hope that others do too. But there are many who don't and they have been relatively vocal. If you want to help save our curbside collections, I hope you will speak out. You can either attend the meeting Tuesday night (7:00 pm at the Southern Human Services Center) or you can send an email to the county commissioners: http://www.co.orange.nc.us/Email/MsgForm.asp?email=ocbocc&domain=co.orange.nc.us&name=County+Commissioners
If you choose to speak up and you live in the rural curbside collection area, please make sure you say so. We need for the county commissioners to understand that those who receive the service value it.