Rogers Road

Extending the life of the landfill?

Because we have done such a good job of recycling (and composting?), we have managed to extend the life of our landfill well past it's sunset date....But at what cost?

Rigorous debate at NAACP candidate forum

Last night, the Chapel Hill/Carrboro chapter of the NAACP held a candidate’s forum for the County Commissioner at-large and County Sheriff’s race.

The candidates present were: Clarence Birkhead, Lindy Pendergrass, Joal Hall Broun, Barry Jacobs and Joe Phelps. Alice Gordon also stopped by, even though she is uncontested in her County Commissioner race in District 1.

There was actually a lot of ground covered at the forum. Among the topics discussed was the 287g Program, overcrowding in county jails, funding for the Chapel Hill library and Google Fiber Optics.

Most notable was William Thorp, the NAACP chapter chair, giving an impassioned plea to the commissioner-hopefuls to fix the situation in Rogers Road. The plea came in the wake of a new report that found 9 out of 11 wells in the region were contaminated and a quarter of the septic tanks in the area were in disrepair.

About last night

There has been a lot going on and I can scarcely find a moment to blog about it. Maybe in 6 years when my son starts school and I don't have to work to pay for daycare so I can work so I can...  where was I? Oh yeah, so last night three important things happened in local government - we took 2 steps forward and one step back for social justice.

1. The Orange County Commissioners rejected both door number one (a new, expanded landfill) and door number two (a waste transfer station).  Instead they will be shipping our trash to Durham, an idea which I never years in literally years of debate about this issue.  In any case, this seems to be a huge victory for the historically African-American Rogers Road neighborhood, which has shouldered Orange County's landfill for nearly four decades and which is ready to move on the the next phase of their lives, that is: not being neighbors to any major waste handling facilities. 

Chapel Hill Minister Robert Campbell invited to speak at White House conference

For those of you who may have missed the  announcement in the local press:

Minister Robert  Campbell, long-time Chapel Hill activist for Social and Environmental Justice, has been invited to the White House on Friday, Nov. 20th, to speak to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about issues in the Rogers-Eubanks community related to clean energy and public health.

He has been invited to join this distinguished panel in a White House briefing on the public health benefits of a clean energy economy.  This event will bring together public health advocates and community leaders, experts from U.S.agencies, and White House officials for a discussion on the lasting public health benefits of a clean energy economy. 

Zero Waste as a Mainstream Proposition

As the county still scrambles to try to find a solution to the impending loss of all landfill space in Orange County, I was happily surprised by an article about mainstreaming the zero waste concept that appeared in today's New York Times.  I recognize that the solid waste folks here in the county are way ahead of the game compared to other municipalities in North Carolina, but I wonder if we should be pushing them harder as a community to approach zero waste.  I'll admit to being a bit ignorant about the current philosophy of the solid waste authority, so perhaps they are already pushing this.  But I have been dismayed by the fact that we do not yet have a small business and residential composting program that can handle organic wastes for those who don't have the option of composting on site.  At the very least, it seems like such a program is necessary for capturing food waste from cafeterias, restaurants, and businesses with more than 10 or so employees.  I've set up a worm composting bin at work, but I don't believe most workplaces would be willing to go to that length to create a smaller waste st



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