Chapel Hill News

Commissioners to talk about recycling, debt options

A solid waste service district and other issues are on the agenda Tuesday for the Orange County Board of Commissioners’ work session.

The commissioners will discuss the county’s future options for recycling. The county has been trucking its trash to Durham since the Orange County Landfill closed in July. The county also stopped collecting three fees this year that paid for the recycling program, because of legal issues raised in a 2012 Cabarrus County lawsuit.

The county currently collects curbside recycling from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and some rural areas. Other rural residents bring their recycling and trash to one of five convenience centers. Chapel Hill and Carrboro handle their own trash pickup.

The county has budgeted enough money to keep its recycling program intact until July 1, 2014.

A county tax service district would include the towns, but who operates the services and what would be offered is open for discussion. The towns could let the county charge their residents a fee for recycling instead of joining a tax service district.

A new recycling system must be in place by July 1, 2014.

The commissioners narrowed their options earlier this year to three:

• Create a countywide solid waste management authority, similar to the Orange Water and Sewer Authority.

• Create a solid waste tax service district.

• Eliminate rural curbside recycling.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough also have talked about creating their own solid waste and recycling programs, separate from the county. The Chapel Hill Town Council could talk Oct. 28 about its options for recycling, solid waste and a future transfer station.

County officials said Carrboro and Hillsborough officials have indicated interest in a tax services district.

Other items on the commissioners’ agenda Tuesday include a possible bond referendum next year to pay for millions in city and county school repairs, renovations and construction projects.

If the commissioners agree to the referendum and meet other legal requirements by May, voters could see the question on their November 2014 ballot. Voters also might be asked to approve a second bond referendum to help pay for a roughly $30 million county jail.

The commissioners also will discuss whether to establish an advisory committee to tackle issues that women face in the workplace and how to increase the local stock of affordable housing.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Link Government Services Center on South Cameron Street in Hillsborough.