County trash sites get new hours, one day a week closures

Published 2:37 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The end of daylight saving time on Sunday brought changes to hours and days Beaufort County convenience sites are open to the public.

Convenience sites across the county began operating under new hours this week, and are now closing at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. until March 14, 2021, when daylight saving time is reinstated.

New hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. all other days of the week. The decision was based on the fact that during winter, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. has seen little traffic at convenience sites, in addition to safety issues and lighting after dark, according to Beaufort County Public Works Director Christina Smith.

Each of the county’s 10 convenience sites are also closed one day a week, so that Republic Services, the county’s solid waste contractor, can schedule cleaning, maintenance and repairs to facilities and equipment at each site, as needed.

“I think you’re probably getting something out of this that’s not that measurable. If you close the sites on the schedule that Commissioner (Frankie) Waters has proposed, I think the public may be happier in the end, because they’re not going to arrive as much at the site with the bins full, and I’ve called them for three days and they won’t come and empty the bins,” said Commissioner Hood Richardson. “I think you’re going to provide better service to the public by closing them, and when you get there and the sites are cleaner than they are now, things are better arranged, and the bins have been emptied, I think the public will be happier with it, once they get into it.”

Initially, Smith proposed closing some sites for multiple days in an effort to cut solid waste costs. Commissioners opted instead to close each site one day a week.

“Part of the process in determining the sites that would be closed and the sites that would be open — it was not an easy task, I can assure you — but what we looked at, we tried very hard, that if a site was closed, the adjacent site or the two adjacent sites, were open,” Smith said.

County Manager Brian Alligood said the same scheduling effort is now applied to the one-day-a-week closures.

“Christina and her staff did work to make sure adjacent sites were not closed on the same days in order to keep people from having to drive too far if they had to get rid of something on the day their normal site is closed,” Alligood said.

The one-day-a-week closures on the south side of the Pamlico River are as follows:

  • Aurora, closed Mondays;
  • Buck Jones, closed Thursdays;
  • Chocowinity, closed Wednesdays.

The closures on the north side of the Pamlico River are:

  • Cherry Run, closed Tuesdays;
  • Five Points, closed Thursdays;
  • Landfill gate, Hawkins Beach Road, closed Wednesdays;
  • Pantego, closed Mondays;
  • Ransomville, closed Thursdays;
  • River Road, closed Mondays;
  • Yeatesville, closed Tuesdays.

Waters approximated the closures would save the county $33,000 a year. Commissioners voted 6-1 to adopt the new schedule at the October meeting of Board of Commissioners; Commissioner Ed Booth had the sole dissenting vote.