4/14/20: NAGS HEAD TO TAKE UP NEW RECYCLING CONTRACT TOMORROW THAT SOUTHERN SHORES WILL LIKELY CONSIDER, TOO. Town Council To Meet in Closed Session Monday to Discuss Town Manager Search. Today’s Dare Bulletin Reports No Increase in COVID-19 Cases.  

The draft contract with recycling company, RDS of Virginia, lists two monthly processing rates for single-stream recyclables: one for those streams that have glass and another for those that do not. Pictured above is Dare County’s glass crusher at the public works facility in Manteo.

The Nags Head Board of Commissioners is expected to consider at its meeting tomorrow morning a draft contract with a Virginia recycling company with whom the Town of Southern Shores also could partner.

The Nags Head Board will meet at 9 a.m. by electronic means. The public may “attend” the meeting by registering for a webinar or viewing it by live stream on the town website. (See links below.)

The discussion among the commissioners about whether or not to do business with Recycling & Disposal Solutions (“RSD”), which operates a materials recovery facility (“MRF”) in Portsmouth, should be a preview for the Southern Shores Town Council.

The Nags Head Board will have before it a draft of RSD’s 32-page “single-stream recyclables processing agreement,” which the Town Council will likely scrutinize at a future meeting.

Interim Town Manager Wes Haskett told The Beacon by email today that he will “provide Council with an update on the RDS proposal” at its April 21 budget workshop when he presents proposed expenses for fiscal year 2020-21. But RSD’s draft agreement is not listed as an agenda item for the Town Council.

In an April 6 email, the N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality’s (“N.C. DEQ”) solid waste division informed the counties and towns that use the Powells Point-based Bay Disposal & Recycling to haul recyclables about the availability of RSD’s MRF. Mr. Haskett informed the Town Council at its April 7 meeting about this option.

Since last December, Bay Disposal has been hauling Southern Shores’ curbside recyclables to an incinerator operated by a waste-to-energy facility in Portsmouth, not to a recycling center. Such disposal does not conform with N.C. law. In the interim, N.C. DEQ has been looking for a long-term legal solution for Outer Banks recyclables.

RDS proposes to contract with municipalities separately from Bay Disposal, which, heretofore, has subsumed a recycling facility’s per-tonnage processing costs in the fees it charges.

Mr. Haskett told The Beacon that he has not yet received a price quote from Joshua Smaltz, Outer Banks Site Manager for Bay Disposal, for its services, in the event that the Town contracts with RDS. He reported the same a week ago.

“If I have received a quote from Josh Smaltz with Bay Disposal for their services to collect and transport our recyclables to the RDS facility prior to the [April 21] meeting,” Mr. Haskett emailed today, “Council could direct Town Staff to include that cost in addition to the cost for processing at the RDS facility in the proposed [FY 2020-21] budget.”

The Beacon believes Southern Shores should capitalize immediately on the opportunity presented by RDS.


The RDS contract Nags Head will consider tomorrow covers a five-year term. RDS proposes to accept at its MRF all single-stream, co-mingled “recoverable materials,” which the agreement defines as materials that can be processed and used again.

Those materials that are considered recoverable are listed in an appended table that the parties may modify later, depending on prevailing recycling market conditions.

These materials are categorized by the following commodities: fiber, glass, plastics, metals, and clean separate cardboard, which is cardboard that has less than 2 percent contamination.

Another attached table lists RDS’s processing fees and rebates, according to whether the single-stream recyclables include glass or not. (See pp. 30-31 for the tables. The link to the contract is published below.)

The monthly processing fee fluctuates according to what is known as the Average Commodity Revenue Price Index (“ACR Price Index”). The highest processing fee/rebate listed in RDS’s table is $94/ton for a single stream with glass, and $74/ton for a single stream with no glass.

Inasmuch as glass can be recycled for free in Dare County’s fabulous glass crusher at its recycling facility in Manteo, there is incentive for towns to arrange glass-free processing.

(See The Beacon’s 3/12/20 post about the glass crusher, the only county-owned crusher in the State of North Carolina.)

The Beacon will not pore over RDS’s proposed contract terms—that is what town managers and town attorneys do—but we will note that RDS is responsible for promptly containing all “unacceptable material” that it receives and notifying the town of the problem, so that it can correct the problem before receiving any “chargebacks.”

RDS states in its draft contract that it seeks to achieve “as high a level of recovery” of recoverable material “as is possible,” using the machinery it has to sort the recyclables; and, if a town chooses not to handle unacceptable material itself, RDS will remove, transport, and dispose of it, and bill back any fees to the town. (Some of this contract language could be made more clear.)

The contract also specifies that if RDS should open a MRF in North Carolina that is closer to the Outer Banks than its Portsmouth MRF is, the town agrees to have its recyclables delivered to this facility instead. The N.C. DEQ had hoped that RDS would open a facility in Elizabeth City.

For links to all of the above, see:

Draft contract with RDS: http://www.nagsheadnc.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/2250?fileID=3859

Nags Head Board of Commissioners’ agenda: http://www.nagsheadnc.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_04152020-258

Letter from the N.C. DEQ re RDS’s facility in Portsmouth: http://www.nagsheadnc.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/2250?fileID=3852

Registration for the webinar of the commissioners’ meeting: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YjqmiLnuR-CUDH5LI0svCg


The Southern Shores Town Council will hold its first, and quite possibly, its only budget workshop at 9 a.m. April 21 by Zoom videoconferencing. You may access the agenda here:


Mr. Haskett advised The Beacon by email today that “Unless Council directs Town Staff otherwise, this will be the only work session between the April 21st meeting and the May 5th meeting at which time I will present a balanced budget.”

The Beacon will write more about this workshop after the meeting packet is posted on the Town website.

The Town Council has scheduled a closed session next Monday, 1 p.m., at the Pitts Center, to discuss the on-going town manager selection process.

See https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/minutes-agendas-newsletters/Agendas_2020-04-20.pdf

The Beacon believes that the Town Council should already have given an update about the town manager search on the Town website or at its April 7 meeting, at the latest.

A majority of the Town Council has said publicly that the selection of the new town manager is the most “critical” issue facing the town, but not a word has been spoken or written officially about the search in almost two months.

Under the original timeline, the Town Council would soon be considering recommended candidates and selecting five to seven people to interview.


Today’s Dare County Emergency Management bulletin reports no change in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.

Of the five people associated with Peak Resources who tested positive after a resident there died, two have been asymptomatically cleared and the other three remain asymptomatic, according to the bulletin.

Peak is now checking the temperatures of all staff members upon their arrival to work and before starting their shifts, and doing twice-a-day temperature checks of all residents, Bulletin No. 41 states.

See Bulletin No. 41 at https://www.darenc.com/Home/Components/News/News/6131/1483

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 4/14/20


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