A new solid waste convenience center for trash disposal in northern Amherst County has received unanimous support from the county’s planning commission.

Commissioners voted at a Sept. 19 meeting to recommend the Amherst County Board of Supervisors approve of a rezoning for a new site at 2334 Boxwood Farm Road. The proposed measure would switch the property from an A-1 agricultural residential area to a P-1 public lands zoning.

The new center would replace a current open trash container on the same road within property the county purchased after a previous home burned down. Jeremy Bryant, the county’s director of community development, said it would be a staffed collection center with a small building for an attendant, three containers each for bulk trash disposal and recycling and a pair of compacters.

The project is part of the county’s ongoing efforts to do away with open containers, an initiative supervisors have diligently worked on, Bryant said.

“Moving away from that practice of having open containers is a real stride in the right direction,” Bryant said. “They harbor animals, they fill up fast. People abuse them.”

George Cash, a resident of Boxwood Farm Road, said during a public hearing he feels is the site isn’t properly fenced current waste disposal issues in the area would remain.

“I will be glad to see it gone,” Cash said of the open container and trash piling up. “I’m for [the new site] if they fence it in.”

Bryant said the new site would be fenced with landscaping and he expects a much cleaner site.

Commissioner Jim Thompson told Cash he regularly uses a staffed waste center in the Elon area that replaced a previous open container and he is satisfied with it. The former open container in Elon was “similar but not as bad” as the Boxwood Farm Road container, Thompson said.

Carol Patterson, a resident of Boxwood Farm Road, said she was concerns with safety, monitoring and maintenance and described a feral cat colony at the open container as a hazard for the area and its livestock.

“The potential for rabies is treacherous,” Patterson said.

She said she is delighted to hear recycling will take place at a new collection site.

“The dumpsters need to be cleaned up,” Patterson said. “They’ve gone nothing but downhill the past several years.”

Amherst County is the applicant for the rezoning request. Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the matter during its review at a 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the county administration building, 153 Washington St., Amherst.

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Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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