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County board addresses ‘selfish and lazy’ illegal dumping


Cumberland County Commissioner Jimmy Keefe had some choice words for illegal dumpers at Monday’s board of commissioners meeting. 

“They are being selfish and lazy as they do this illegal dumping, only because either they’re too cheap or they don’t care enough about the beautification of our community,” Keefe said. 

According to the N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality, illegal dumping, or the “disposing of waste in unauthorized areas,” is an environmental crime. The springtime generally brings an uptick in the problem, according to General Manager for Natural Resources Amanda Bader.

Bader said the warmer weather can result in as much as a 50% increase in illegal dumping in the county. County Manager Clarence Grier noted Bader’s staff had to dispose of six king-sized mattresses dumped at a local library just last week.

While county staff consider next steps to address the issue, the board unanimously voted Monday to immediately begin a pilot program that will temporarily reduce solid waste flat fees. The hope is that the cheaper rates will encourage people to properly dispose of their solid waste at county sites, Bader told the board.

“We’ve heard things like, ‘If you didn’t charge to take it to [the] Ann Street [landfill], then we wouldn’t see as much illegal dumping,’” she said. “We would evaluate the success [of the program] by reporting the number of tickets and tracking the number of complaints received.”

The program will be in place through the end of June, according to Bader. During that time, flat rates for pickup truck loads of municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris will be $10 per load instead of the normal $20 rate, while bulky items will cost $5 per item to dispose of instead of the normal $10 fee. 

Bader estimated the campaign will cost the county about $40,000 in lost fees. 

“But with the uptick in illegal dumping and complaints, we feel like it’s a way to get a fresh start,” she said. 

In other business:

  • The board unanimously approved a resolution changing its sales tax distribution method from the per capita method to the ad valorem method. The change will take effect July 1, 2025. 
  • The board made the following appointments to boards and commissions: 
    • Ryan Aul was appointed to the Cape Fear Valley Board of Trustees in a 4-2 vote, with Commissioners Glenn Adams, Marshall Faircloth, Toni Stewart and Jimmy Keefe voting in favor. 
    • Kenneth Burns, Jami McLaughlin and Peter Pappas were appointed to the Civic Center Commission. Burns’ appointment was unanimously approved, while Commissioners Veronica Jones, Michael Boose, Keefe and Faircloth voted for McLaughlin and Commissioners Faircloth, Keefe and Boose voted for Pappas. (McLaughlin is a freelance reporter for CityView, covering Spring Lake.)
    • Sarah Burton, Michael Long, Laura Mussler and Donna Pelham were appointed in a unanimous vote to the Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Commission.
    • Joyce Adams was appointed to the Joint Fort Liberty & Cumberland County Food Policy Council in a unanimous vote.

Commissioner Jeannette Council was not present at Monday’s meeting. The board will next meet at 1 p.m. April 11 for an agenda session at the Cumberland County courthouse.

Reporter Lexi Solomon can be reached at lsolomon@cityviewnc.com or 910-423-6500.

This story was made possible by contributions to CityView News Fund, a 501c3 charitable organization committed to an informed democracy.

Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, illegal dumping, sales tax