by Eric Ginsburg

Items from across the Triad and beyond by Eric Ginsburg & Jordan Green

Greensboro making third attempt at privatizing landfill

The city of Greensboro is considering an aggressive schedule for a new request for proposals, or RFP, for private companies to operate the White Street Landfill. A draft copy of the RFP, dated July 8, called for proposals to be received by July 25 and contract negotiations to be completed by Aug. 31. City council would approve an agreement by Sept. 13 and trucks would begin rolling through the gates about two weeks later.

The new RFP limits the scope of work to receiving municipal solid waste in Phase III and construction and demolition debris in Phase II. A previous RFP was set aside after a judge ruled that the city could not contract to expand the landfill without holding a public hearing, considering alternative sites and reviewing socioeconomic data. This is the third solid waste RFP issued by the city since 2009.

Landfill opponents are hoping to run out the clock so that the city is unable to reopen the landfill before the new council is seated in December under the assumption that residents will vote in a new council that will keep the facility closed.

“It is impossible to conduct a thorough RFP process on such a compact timeline,” said Chris Brook, a staff attorney at the Southern

Coalition for Social Justice, who is representing opponents free of charge. “We urge the city council to do what it has not done before — its due diligence.” — JG

Planned Parenthood sues to block state funding loss

Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina has filed a lawsuit in Greensboro seeking an injunction against the state budget amendment banning them from receiving state funding.

“This is the first time in North Carolina’s history that a single healthcare provider has been carved out in the budget and banned from applying for competitive grants from the state,” said Planned Parenthood of Central NC President and CEO Janet Colm in a press release. “We hope the court will work to protect the people we serve, and will ensure that Planned Parenthood can continue to receive state and federal funding to assist us in providing critical health services to North Carolina women, men and teens.”

The funding cut would significantly increase costs for Planned Parenthood’s services, a change that many of their patients could not afford. Seventy percent of the agency’s patients do not have health insurance that would cover their care. — EG