Trash Talk: Media Steps Up to the Plate

Who, what, where, when and why might provide the context for local issues but without relevant analysis the local media falls down on their obligation to the inform, as fully as possible, the citizenry.

“Light and Liberty go together”, as Jefferson said. So does “light and good public policy”. The Chapel Hill News (of which I’m an occasional columnist) has been on top of the recent Rogers Road story – not only providing background, like Aarne Vesilind’s Bravery and broken promises mark landfill saga but also editorial leadership like Taking out the trash

There are some good reasons for locating Orange County’s planned solid waste transfer station at the site of the current landfill on Eubanks Road.

That site is closer to the population centers that produce most of the trash than the other possible locations that have been mentioned. The landfill site is already used to handle trash, of course, so you wouldn’t have to disturb any additional parcels of land. And, best of all, it’s the cheapest option on the table.

Reasonable considerations all.

But they’re outweighed by the arguments, moral and practical, against putting a waste transfer station on Eubanks Road. If a transfer station is necessary — and that’s a question that needs some better answers — put it somewhere else.

Back in the early 1970s, the landfill opened on Eubanks Road, where the people living next door were — here’s a shock — the predominantly low-income, black residents of the Rogers Road area.

Those residents were assured at the time by local leaders that they would have to live with the landfill only for a limited time, and then the county would move its solid waste facilities elsewhere.

That never happened. The landfill was expanded, not closed, and for more than 30 years the people who live along Rogers Road have lived with the noise, smell, traffic, trash, discolored groundwater and other noxious side effects of the landfill.

They’ve done their time.


Here’s some of their other recent coverage:

The Daily Tar Heel and WCHL 1360 have done their bit:

Leave a Reply