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A problematic landfill in Waynesville’s Francis Farm community will be seeing a lot of activity between now and 2019 — about $5 million worth.

Macon County is taking the final steps to expand its landfill life expectancy by 60 years, likely the last expansion before the county will have to figure out a new plan for disposing waste. 

Commissioners recently approved purchasing two tracts of land that will enable the county to expand the current MSW Landfill on Pannell Lane in Franklin. For a total of about $1.5 million, the county plans to purchase 14.5 acres from Donald Burling at 256 Pannell Lane and 8.3 acres from Charles and Wendy Dalton at 198 Pannell Lane.

Underground contamination leaching from an old, closed-down landfill in Haywood County will cost millions to clean up, a burden homeowners countywide will be forced to bear through higher trash fees over the coming decade.

County commissioners got their first glimpse this month at how much each household will have to chip in over the next 10 years to pay for the cleanup.

fr jaxtrashA tug of war between two Jackson trucking companies over a high-stakes contract for hauling trash was settled last week following days of political tension.

Jackson County commissioners had to decide which of the two local truckers would snag a $2.5 million four-year contract to haul trash to a landfill in Georgia.

Lingering underground contamination at an old Haywood County landfill in Waynesville has prompted the county to buy out a neighboring 25-acre tract, part of a costly plan to stop the spread of pollutants.

The county is purchasing the adjoining property for $850,000. The county estimates it will cost upwards of $5 million over coming years to tackle the contamination. State environmental regulations are forcing the county to fix the issue.

With its landfill nearing capacity, Macon County is taking steps to add a new cell before the existing area fills up about two years from now. They’ve had another phase permitted for about 20 years, but rather than just install a liner in that property and call it a day, the Solid Waste Management Department is looking to buy an adjoining property to add to that already-permitted cell. 

Work is underway on a multi-million-dollar environmental remediation project on the Old Francis Farm landfill near Waynesville. The first load of dirt was dumped Oct. 7, and on Oct. 6 Haywood County Commissioners approved a $44,500 contract for McGill Associates Engineering to do construction, landfill permitting and stockpile design for the fill dirt.

“It’s been a whirlwind of work from our side, the engineers’ side, and the N.C. DOT,” David Francis, the county’s tax administrator, told commissioners.

coverMore than 200 acres of scattered tracts along the meandering Pigeon River Valley in Haywood County are quiet sentries to the not-so-pretty past of Canton’s century-old paper mill. 

SEE ALSO: A better wayThe good, the bad and the silver lining

Mountains of toxin-laced sludge and coal ash are buried in vast industrial dumps on the outskirts of town, hidden relics of the mill’s long papermaking presence here. The old unlined landfills leapfrog along a 2-mile section of the Pigeon River downstream of the mill.

fr landfill2The Canton paper mill has been an economic anchor in Haywood County since 1908, providing livelihoods for tens of thousands of workers over its proud and storied history.

fr landfill3The dangers of coal ash have taken center stage in North Carolina in the wake of the Dan River disaster, when a breach in a faulty Duke Energy coal ash pond near Eden unleashed a toxic slurry downstream.

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Reading Room

  • A strange mix of books crosses my desk
    A strange mix of books crosses my desk The first weeks of 2018 have seen some offbeat books shamble across my desk and into my fingers. First up is John Buchan’s Mr. Standfast, also known as Mr. Steadfast. Buchan, a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada from 1935…
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