New solid waste ordinance to take effect in 2024

Published 10:23 am Friday, November 24, 2023

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From Beaufort County Government:

WASHINGTON, N.C. –– A new solid waste ordinance will go into effect January 1, 2024, following its approval in October by the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners. The ordinance applies to any part of Beaufort County not within a municipality and repeals and replaces an existing ordinance (Chapter 51 – Landfills, 1974).

The ordinance establishes rules and guidelines that govern the proper storage, collection, transportation, and disposal of solid waste in the county. The ordinance serves to protect the health and safety of Beaufort County residents, as well as protect the environment.

Requirements regarding the collection and transfer of solid waste are included in the ordinance, accompanied by sections on littering and unauthorized dumping. These directives are designed to make the solid waste collection process as safe and efficient as possible while also establishing a system of accountability designed to deter illegal, unsafe, and unsanitary activity.

Unauthorized dumping is prohibited. No one is allowed to dump solid waste on or along any street or highway or any public or private property unless it is placed in a designated solid waste container. Dumping solid waste at a closed collection site is also unlawful.

Rules governing the operation of the county’s solid waste collection sites are also included. Collection sites are provided to accept different types of residential waste. Waste generated outside of the county is prohibited at the collection sites. Everyone using the collection sites must place solid waste in a designated receptacle.

The ordinance requires property owners, occupants, tenants, and lessees to be mindful of storing solid waste in a safe and sanitary manner, using clean, nonabsorbent, durable containers, and disposing of waste promptly. Leaving any waste outside of a building for longer than a week is prohibited (except for salvage and/or recycling operations) under the new ordinance.

Those transporting solid waste are responsible for ensuring the waste is properly secured. Materials blown or spilled during transportation must be picked up immediately by the transporter and returned to the vehicle or container. The owner or operator of a vehicle is responsible for dumping, littering, and other violations in which the vehicle is used.

The ordinance also addresses the operation of county-owned scrap tire and yard waste processing facilities, outlines the process of licensing residential solid waste collectors, and details annual solid waste fees.

The rules included in the ordinance will be enforceable by authorized government agencies and personnel. Violations of the ordinance will result in penalties that, depending on the nature and severity of the offense, may include fines, denial of use of county solid waste facilities, civil penalties and/or criminal penalties.

Beaufort County residents are encouraged to read the ordinance, seek clarification if needed, and become familiar with the regulations listed before the January 1, 2024 effective date. Please contact the Beaufort County Public Works Department – Solid Waste Division at 252-975-0720 Option 2 or if you have any questions.

Click here to read the full ordinance.