Public Hearing Monday To Discuss Solid Waste

Johnston County Commissioners will be gathering public input about trash during a hearing on Monday, May 4th at 6pm in Smithfield.

Officials have been trying to find a method to deal with losses at the county’s 12 trash disposal convenience sites in recent years.  Currently, residents pay $65 a year for a decal to access any of the sites to dispose of their garbage.

However, the 12 sites operate at an annual loss of about $1.2 million, according to County Manager Rick Hester.

Commissioners have discussed several options to deal with the loss, including raising the cost of the decals, charging all county residents a solid waste removal fee on their property tax bill regardless if they use the sites, or if they pay for municipal or private trash removal services.

One option is to do away with the decal fee but charge a solid waste/recycling fee for residents in unincorporated areas from $51-$53. Residents who live in municipalities that provide garbage service would be billed a $5 recycling fee.

Another option is to keep the decal fee and raise decal prices over time, which would still require commissioners to dip into the general fund to make up for the revenue shortfall until the decal prices are high enough to be self supporting.

“It is very likely other funding ideas will be discussed during the solid waste public hearing next Monday night,” Hester said. 

Chairman Tony Braswell said at April’s commissioners meeting. “We need to decide if we’re going to keep the decal program. We need to move forward.”