An appeal for public support and action

For nearly 150 years, African-American families have lived in what is now known as the Rogers-Eubanks Community in Orange County, NC, just north of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  In 1972, Chapel Hill established an unlined landfill in the community, despite residents’ protests.  The landfill was supposed to be closed 10 years later, but instead, it has expanded to include two municipal waste landfills, two construction and demolition/industrial landfills, a leachate pond, a hazardous waste collection site, a materials recovery facility, facilities for mulching yard and clean wood waste, and facilities for managing scrap tires, old appliances, scrap metal, and salvaged construction materials.

The currently used municipal waste landfill will reach capacity in 2012, and the Orange County Commissioners are strongly considering further expansion of the landfill property by siting a waste transfer station on a 10-acre site on Millhouse Road.  This site is immediately adjacent to the old landfill.

The commissioners are scheduled to make their decision on Dec. 7, 2009, and the Rogers-Eubanks Community needs your help! Please show your support by writing letters to the editors of our local papers and by contacting public officials and the Orange County Commissioners (contact information is below).

There are better, more responsible ways for us to handle our garbage, and they don’t involve dumping on the neighborhood that has lived with Orange County’s trash for 37 years.

The following talking points may be useful in developing your letters:

  • The appearance of Millhouse Road as a potential site for a transfer station entirely bypasses the commissioners’ own 2-year search process, including all of the careful search criteria that were established to include not only cost, but also social justice and environmental concerns.  Originally, only 25-acre sites were considered.  If 10-acre sites are suddenly now acceptable, then all possible 10-acre sites in the county need to be considered in a transparent, systematic process.
  • Although a waste transfer station is not a landfill, it still comes with negative impacts on its neighbors, including noise and air pollution, heavy truck traffic, vermin, and the possibility of water contamination. Additional truck traffic is incompatible with the surrounding roads and nearby schools, including the Emerson Waldorf School, Morris Grove Elementary School, and the middle school that is planned for Eubanks Rd.
  • The site on Millhouse was originally sold to the county with the understanding that it would be used as parkland, and it is contiguous with other county property that is designated for future use as soccer fields.  The small size of the properties makes any sort of buffer between the proposed transfer station traffic and the soccer fields impossible.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specifically warns against clustering of facilities with potential negative impacts on the surrounding community. Residents surrounding the current landfill have already endured nearly four decades of  “hosting” several landfills, along with other negative-impact facilities, including the recycling center, the county’s animal shelter, new offices for the Solid Waste Department, and the Chapel Hill Town Operations Center.
  • Whether or not Orange County considers the Millhouse site technically within the Rogers-Eubanks community boundaries, it is undeniable that the traffic, noise, impact on property values, and other problems associated with a waste transfer station on Millhouse will powerfully and negatively affect the Rogers-Eubanks Community.  The Millhouse site is literally an extension of the landfill property.  The commissioners are trying to use a technicality to get out of their pledges and their predecessor’s pledges to not site a waste transfer station in the community.
  • A waste transfer station on Millhouse will not necessarily lead to money for the public services needed by the Rogers-Eubanks residents, and indeed, these services should in no way be tied to whether or not a transfer station is sited in their community.  The health of their community is not for sale.

Again, we ask that you please show your support by writing letters to the editors of our local papers and by contacting each of the Orange County Commissioners.
Contact information for the County Commissioners and the local papers:

Letters can be submitted electronically to the commissioners at the following Orange County website:

In addition, you can write or call the commissioners at:

Foushee, Valerie P. (Chair)
106 Claris Court, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514
(H) 942-2661 (F) 933-3203

Nelson, Mike (Vice-Chair)
214 Webb St., Hillsborough, N.C. 27278
(H) 749-6155

Gordon, Alice M.
282 Edgewood Dr., Chapel Hill, N.C. 27517
(H) 933-0550 (F) 967-3823

Hemminger, Pam
407 Sharon Rd., Chapel Hill, N.C. 27517
(H) 942-2273

Jacobs, Barry
2105 Moorefields Rd., Hillsborough, N.C. 27278
(H) 732-4384 (W) 732-4941 (F) 732-4486

Pelissier, Bernadette
4516 Mystic Lane, Hillsborough, N.C. 27278
(H) 643-2762

Yuhasz, Steve
710 Ridgelift Lane, Hillsborough, N.C. 27278
(H) 732-4364 (W) 732-6262

Contact information for the local papers:

The Carrboro Citizen

Letters should be no more than 325 words in length.

E-mailed letters are preferred at .

Please include your name, address and contact and information.  Only your name and town will be printed.

Chapel Hill Herald-Sun

The Herald-Sun welcomes letters to the editor, but asks that writers follow a few guidelines.

·  Limit your letter to 250 words or fewer.

·  Include a daytime phone number and e-mail address.

·  Include your full name and home address. Only your name and town will be published.  Anonymous letters will not be published.

·  Letters can be submitted directly online at .

If you prefer not to use the online form, you can send an e-mail with all the requested information directly to .

Chapel Hill News

Letters should be limited to 300 words.

E-mail letters to

Please include your name, address and phone number.  Only your name and town will be printed.

Daily Tar Heel

Use the online form at to submit a letter to the editor. The Daily Tar Heel edits for space, clarity, accuracy and vulgarity. Limit letters to 250 words.

Independent Weekly

The Indy will only print letters in response to articles they have published.  Please reference the Indy’s past coverage of the Waste Transfer Station in your intro to the editor.

Send no more than 300 words to . Include your name and town for publication and your phone number for verification, and put “Back Talk” in the subject line. The Indy reserves the right to edit letters for length, style and clarity. Back Talk is strictly limited to feedback about Independent articles. The deadline is Monday at 9 a.m. for the upcoming Wednesday’s issue.

The Carolina Times

No website

Send letters (Up to 500 words) to:

Deadline is 5 pm Monday for Thursday publication

Must have contacts telephone number and address, which will not be published.