Commissioners approve revised R’boro solid waste ordinance

Lauren Williams Staff Writer

January 16, 2014

Following months of revision work by Roseboro commissioners Roland Hall and Richard Barefoot to the town’s solid waste ordinance, the final product, featuring clarified instructions as to what will be collected by the town’s public works employees — as well as how various solid wastes should be disposed of by citizens — was presented and unanimously approved Tuesday night by the town board.

Noting that the changes thought needed by Hall and Barefoot had been made with the assistance of the town’s attorney, Hall quickly made a motion to approve the revised ordinance.

Fellow commissioner Alice Butler interjected with a couple of concerns, taking issue with a line of wording in article II, section 28-22, sub-section (b). of the ordinance which read, “Any person desiring to place tree trimmings, hedge cuttings, grass, leaves or similar materials, all of which must be caused by acts of God, for free collection shall cause the material to be placed on the curb line at the street on the area between the sidewalk and the curb.”

Butler questioned what “caused by acts of God” meant and would mean to citizens reading the ordinance. She shared that the wording led her to believe that apart from a natural even,t such as a hurricane or tornado, citizens could not trim their shrubbery and then leave it in the proper location to be collected by the town.

Town attorney Billie L. Poole explained that “caused by acts of God” referred to natural materials like trees, leaves, and shrubbery, excluding man-made, manufactured items like boards and other building materials.

Butler also pointed out that “small rocks” needed to be excluded from the acceptable wastes named in the ordinance. Public works director David Phillips confirmed that mixing such items in with leaves can cause numerous problems for public works employees when they collect and then deliver the waste to the landfill to dispose of it.

For months now, Phillips and town employee Sandy Monroe have shared with commissioners how citizens not separating their solid wastes causes problems and delays at the landfill which, they previously pointed out, requires that waste be sorted or it is deemed unacceptable and cannot be disposed of.

Considering Butler’s concerns, Hall withdrew his initial motion and made a second motion to approve the ordinance contingent upon taking out the confusing “caused by acts of God” wording as well as the deleting “small rocks” from the list of waste approved for pick-up by the town. Hall’s second motion was approved unanimously.

Roseboro’s solid waste ordinance can be viewed in its entirety via the town’s website at and at town hall where it is on file.

Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at