153A-292. County collection and disposal facilities.

(a) The board of county commissioners of any county may establish and operate solid waste collection and disposal facilities in areas outside the corporate limits of a city. The board may by ordinance regulate the use of a disposal facility provided by the county subject to the limitations of G.S. 130A-291, the nature of the solid wastes disposed of in a facility, and the method of disposal. The board may contract with any city, individual, or privately owned corporation to collect and dispose of solid waste in the area. Counties and cities may establish and operate joint collection and disposal facilities. A joint agreement shall be in writing and executed by the governing bodies of the participating units of local government.

(b) The board of county commissioners may impose a fee for the collection of solid waste. The fee may not exceed the costs of collection.

The board of county commissioners may impose a fee for the use of a disposal facility provided by the county. Except as provided in this subsection, the fee for use may not exceed the cost of operating the facility. The fee may exceed those costs if the county enters into a contract with another local government located within the State to accept the other local government's solid waste and the county by ordinance levies a surcharge on the fee. The fee authorized by this paragraph may only be used to cover the costs of operating the facility. The surcharge authorized by this paragraph may be used for any purpose for which the county may appropriate funds. A fee under this paragraph may be imposed only on those who use the facility. The fee for use may vary based on the amount, characteristics, and form of recyclable materials present in solid waste brought to the facility for disposal. A county may not impose a fee for the use of a disposal facility on a city located in the county or a contractor or resident of the city unless the fee is based on a schedule that applies uniformly throughout the county.

The board of county commissioners may impose a fee for the availability of a disposal facility provided by the county. A fee for availability may not exceed the cost of providing the facility and may be imposed on all improved property in the county that benefits from the availability of the facility. A county may not impose an availability fee on property whose solid waste is collected by a county, a city, or a private contractor for a fee if the fee imposed by a county, a city, or a private contractor for the collection of solid waste includes a charge for the availability and use of a disposal facility provided by the county. Property served by a private contractor who disposes of solid waste collected from the property in a disposal facility provided by a private contractor that provides the same services as those provided by the county disposal facility is not considered to benefit from a disposal facility provided by the county and is not subject to a fee imposed by the county for the availability of a disposal facility provided by the county. To the extent that the services provided by the county disposal facility differ from the services provided by the disposal facility provided by a private contractor in the same county, the county may charge an availability fee to cover the costs of the additional services provided by the county disposal facility.

In determining the costs of providing and operating a disposal facility, a county may consider solid waste management costs incidental to a county's handling and disposal of solid waste at its disposal facility, including the costs of the methods of solid waste management specified in G.S. 130A-309.04(a) of the Solid Waste Management Act of 1989. A fee for the availability or use of a disposal facility may be based on the combined costs of the different disposal facilities provided by the county.

(b1) The collection, disposal, and availability fees authorized by this section may be used to cover the cost of waste management programs in the jurisdiction, including the collection of waste and the collection of litter along public roadways.

(c) The board of county commissioners may use any suitable vacant land owned by the county for the site of a disposal facility, subject to the permit requirements of Article 9 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes. If the county does not own suitable vacant land for a disposal facility, it may acquire suitable land by purchase or condemnation. The board may erect a gate across a highway that leads directly to a disposal facility operated by the county. The gate may be erected at or in close proximity to the boundary of the disposal facility. The county shall pay the cost of erecting and maintaining the gate.

(d), (e) Repealed by Session Laws 1991, c. 652, s. 1.

(f) This section does not prohibit a county from providing aid to low-income persons to pay all or part of the cost of solid waste management services for those persons. (1961, c. 514, s. 1; 1971, c. 568; 1973, c. 535; c. 822, s. 2; 1981, c. 919, s. 22; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1009, s. 3; 1991, c. 652, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 594, s. 27; 2007-550, s. 10(a); 2013-413, s. 59.4(a); 2014-115, s. 60; 2017-209, s. 17(c).)