Waste is brought to the landfill or transfer station by vehicles that collect it from household and businesses throughout Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties. At the transfer stations, the waste is re-loaded into large tractor-trailer trucks for transportation to the regional landfill. Transfer stations are located on NC 306 North in Grantsboro (Pamlico County) and on Hibbs Road in Newport (Carteret County).
All waste entering the landfill is weighed on the scales and directed to the proper disposal site, either solid waste, yard waste or inert debris.
For residential customers with small amounts of household waste or trash, a convenient drop-off center has been constructed. This area is paved and elevated to make disposal easy and convenient. A box is also located here for the free disposal of appliances.
Waste is compacted at the "working face' by large compacting machines to maximize the air space within the landfill cell. Maximum compaction means lower costs and less use of landfill space. At the end of each day, the working face is covered with dirt or other approved material.
After waste is deposited into the landfill, it naturally begins to decompose. One of the byproducts of waste decomposition is the production of landfill gas. The predominant substance in landfill gas is methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming, so CEP is required to destroy this gas rather than release it to the atmosphere. In 2007, CEP began selling landfill gas to INGENCO, a producer of electricity from landfill gas. INGENCO operates a 4 megawatt power plant, using landfill gas as the primary fuel. This generation operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, except for scheduled maintenance.
At present, the facility is capable of meeting the electricity needs of approximately 2,500 homes. AS CEP closes more landfill cells, more landfill gas will become available. INGENCO has designed their facility for future expansion, based on the amount of landfill gas available.
The Coastal Environmental Partnership is proud to operate the first landfill gas-to-electricity plant east of Raleigh.
Water that passes through decomposing waste is called "leachate". To protect the groundwater, CEP utilizes a complex system of liners and water collection systems. Water collected in this system is aerated in large collection ponds and then treated in the City of New Bern's state-of-the art wastewater treatment system.
After a landfill cell is full, CEP proceeds to permanently close the area. Closure includes placing additional liners on the outside of the cell, drilling gas collection wells and installing a drainage system to control storm water.