A permitted landfill is one of the most valuable assets anyone — private entity or government — could own. Disposal costs, like health care costs, are permanently with us and continue to rise. There is no industrial or retail substitute that would give a seller a higher per-square foot return than a permitted MSW landfill.
Nonetheless, the City of Greensboro closed its permitted White Street Landfill that had years of capacity remaining.
When White Street was constructed it was located in a remote area. Over the years the city allowed developers to place subdivisions near the landfill. The residents who moved to the landfill began to resent the odor and asked the city to protect them from the consequences of their decisions. Many of the residents even called it “environmental racism,” in spite of the obvious and undisputed sequence of events.
Bowing to politics, the city closed White Street Landfill and began the extremely costly process of paying to ship its MSW out of county.
In yesterday’s Greensboro News & Record there was an update on the city’s decision to allow an “open” RFP in which companies may submit any sort of proposal for handling Greensboro’s household waste. Each proposal may include a use for White Street in some manner or not. In other words, the city has established a general call for solutions.
The deadline for submission is March 2010.