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Editorial: Alternative To Waste Transfer Station

Managing Editor

The Town of Carolina Beach opened a new waste transfer station on Bridge Barrier Road adjacent to the Post Office and neighboring residential properties. (See report on page 1-A)
The Town is leasing the land and built a giant ramp to permit Town vehicles to dump trash collected from public trashcans along the beachfront and from other public areas throughout Town. The odor is particularly bad when fish is collected from trashcans from the Town's marina on Canal Drive. Combine that with hot summer temperatures and the rotting smell is horrible. The Town is attempting to control that odor with deodorizers placed in and around the trash compactor. The neighbors are understandably upset about the situation. Odor, loud noise from large trucks dumping trash, all make for an annoying situation not to mention the wildlife such odors will attract from nearby Carolina Beach State Park including raccoons and rats.
The Council voted last week to direct the Town Manager to find property to relocate the transfer station to resolve the problem.
Some on Council are skeptical that relocation of the station can be achieved without spending gross amounts of money on top of what has already been spent in excess of $200,000 to construct the station on leased property. The Town has a lease with an option to buy, but purchasing the property now seems unlikely unless the Town wishes to use it for some other purpose such as storing materials for their Operations Department.
Perhaps devoting time to explore alternate locations for the waste transfer station would be better spent on figuring out how to operate without a waste transfer station in Carolina Beach.
The principle is simple: Collect garbage from public trashcans and temporarily hold it in a trash compactor until a commercial waste hauler arrives to carry the large container to the landfill.
How about eliminating the need to hold the garbage in a centralized location? For years Kure Beach has picked up their own garbage using their own compacting garbage truck.
Perhaps Carolina Beach should weigh the cost of purchasing such a truck, running a regular route to empty public trashcans, and then making one or two trips to the landfill each day. That puts the transfer station literally on wheels and eliminates the need for property to facilitate what is currently stinking up the Bridge Barrier Road area. It would certainly be less expensive than buying land and making improvements (a second time) costing hundreds of thousands of dollars or paying fees for a commercial service to truck it out. And no one will have to worry about whether or not the next station will be near their home.