The New Assault on Scotland County: Or Why Bringing in Millions of Tons of Trash Makes You Cleaner
The assault on our rural counties aimed at making them garbage receptacles for states all along the eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida, that I started posting on months ago entered a new stage recently. Waste Management vying to be the ones granted the right to dump other states' trash in our impoverished rural south has opened up a local disinformation shop , Scotland County dedicated to convincing local citizens that they really do want to turn their part of the state into one big megadump. The worst part about this current assault is the blatant distorting of the truth to make it seem like landfills are good for the environment and other such nonsense; these claims are the current version of "clean skies" for let's pollute more and "healthy forests" for let's chop down as many trees as we can.
The latest direct attack is a website dedicated to the good folks in Scotland County touting the "benefits" of the proposed mega-dump, but invariably all of their lies fall well short when it comes to the truth. Their first claim:
By building its own regional landfill, Scotland County can ... generally increase the county's economic development potential.
The claim of economic development is always the first claim in support of a landfill, but there is no true economic development other than the small tipping paid per ton of trash brought in. True economic development begins when there is investment in local business and good jobs are created. Waste Management is not a local business, and its profits are going to be shipped out as quickly as they can ship trash in. Furthermore, a modern dump provides only a limited, menial long term employment: there is the person who opens the gate in the morning, the person who tracks the trucks as they come in and out, and that is about it.
Their second claim is equally laughable:
Waste Management is seeking a franchise agreement that will give Scotland County control over the facility
I have seen a draft of the franchise agreement that they want the county to sign, and nothing in it is aimed at giving the County control; the entire agreement, like any business contract would be, is aimed at placing as much risk as possible on the County, reaping as much profit as is possible, and retaining control over any function possible. In fact a couple of provisions in the contract were specifically aimed at ensuring that Scotland County give up all of their rights to later object to the landfill and its operations.
Another deceptive claim:
Protecting the environment is important to us.
Now putting garbage in a landfill is better for the environment than say throwing it in your local street or stream, but the main profit center for Waste Management is the disposal of waste, while recycling programs are run more for public image than profit. The more people produce waste; the worse it is for the environment and the more Waste Management benefits. The entire business model of Waste Management is predicated on more waste, which is also a reason to make large landfills in rural areas: if people do not need to pay a lot to get rid of their huge amounts of trash and do not have to drive by a local landfill reminding them of the environmental impact of all of those plastic toys from Wal-Mart, they are much less likely to make the better environmental choice of producing less waste.
The website goes on, but I have had enough. Flat out lying to the people of Scotland County to provide false hope that the becoming other states' dump will somehow cure their failing economy and improve their environment is corporate greed and avarice at its worst, and it sickens me.