Viewpoints: Recycling and Infrastructure –

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Do not close the University Place recycling site

Blair Pollock’s point of view

For the past 35 years since public recycling began here, our community has warmly embraced this simplest and most popular environmental act.

One of the first cornerstones of our robust, well-funded and operated system remains the four unmanned recycling sites that receive over 1,200 tonnes per year of high-quality materials. The UNIVERSITY PLACE (MALL) site on Estes Drive in Chapel Hill is the most heavily used of the four and IS ABOUT TO BE DELETED. As of May 31, site owner Ram Realty, based in Florida but with an office in Chapel Hill, plans to evict the recycling site as part of its mall redevelopment plan. There’s no reason to do that and every reason to keep the site there. You can contact Ram Realty at (561) 630-6110. Their website lists Jeff Kurtz and Rachel Russell Krenz as Vice Presidents of Development in the Carolinas. (No email displayed). The local office is at 1480 Environ Way in Chapel Hill. So start with them. Their webpage says, “We have the power to make places better; to create places where people want to live and shop”. Hold them there. There is no short-term justification for eliminating this valuable community asset.

IF the site is to close, then a ‘second best’ may be the Town of Chapel Hill property on Legion Road behind the Sheraton which may be a future park or housing site. It could easily and easily accommodate a recycling drop off site – you can see for yourself the length of the road frontage and its level. You can contact the City and inquire about this. or 919-968-2714.


Community infrastructure

Steve Peck’s point of view

I read with interest that as a community we invest in parks and greenways. As a former member and chair of the Orange County Parks and Recreation Board, I’m very proud of our progress with projects like Blackwood Farm and our greenway system.

However, as a Chapel Hill/Carboro resident, I also believe in the saying go first thing. My house is in the Fox Meadow subdivision of Carrboro. To date, we have no water infrastructure and few of us have sewers. There is a story there, but the fact remains that my neighborhood is paying taxes for infrastructure that we don’t have. Fire protection is limited by this and insurance rates, depending on the company, may be higher. Personally, I think the priority should be for municipal leaders to build 1st class infrastructure for all citizens before building parks and greenways.

Municipalities have always been quick to annex but slow to provide infrastructure. This is the case in my neighborhood. I would call a pause on development of all kinds until our community can provide infrastructure to all existing neighborhoods.

Viewpoints on Chapelboro is a recurring series of opinion columns submitted by the community. All thoughts, ideas, opinions and expressions in this series are those of the author and do not reflect the work or reporting of 97.9 The Hill and