November 2009 Newsletter 
Rural Orange County Talks Trash!
Thank you to the 918 rural households who responded to OCV's Talkin' Trash Survey.  We are thrilled by the response which will allow us to make meaningful statements about the needs and priorities of our rural communities.
Roughly 12.6% of respondents use vendors for trash pickup.  The rest use convenience centers.  Responses indicate that residents are pleased with their current service and had many positive comments about convenience center operations and staff.  
Eighty-five percent of rural residents recycle all the time!  Nearly 50% compost kitchen waste; over 50% compost yard waste.
Our volunteers need a few weeks to analyze the results and prepare a report for the BoCC, the community, and the county's solid waste Work Group.  Shortly, we will announce a community forum where we will share the results with the public.  The results will also be posted on our website.
Thank you to all our neighbors who completed this important survey and added their names to the growing network of Orange County Voice.  Special thanks to our volunteers and our community partners:
The News of Orange
Orange Grove and White Cross Volunteer
     Fire Departments 
Farm and Garden Center
Handy Andy's
Cedar Grove Library
Efland Supermarket
Jerry's Exxon
Piedmont Feed
Harry's Market at White Cross
Maple View Farm
Schley Grange
The Exchange Club
Efland Ruritan Club
15th Annual Orange County Open
Studio Tour:  Nov. 7 - 8 and 14 - 15
Start your holiday shopping by supporting Orange County artists during this year's studio tour which starts this weekend.   OCV's own Dale Morgan and Jennifer Hahn are among the incredible artists that use their gifts to showcase the delights of rural Orange County.
For more information on the studio tour, click here
Waste Transfer Station Update:
Chapel Hill Site Eliminated
We're getting closer to the December 7th date where the BoCC will decide how to proceed with a waste transfer station.
The Chapel Hill Town Council has decided to not offer the site at their Town Operations Center on Millhouse Road for a waste transfer station (WTS) site.  The commissioners are continuing to look at other potential WTS sites including the 10 acre Paydarfar site on Millhouse Road (which the county already owns), the 147 acre Howell Property on West 54, or use of the Durham Transfer Station.
The commissioners have indicated that, under any option, the county is unlikely to build a new transfer station before the landfill closes.  So the Durham Transfer Station is also being considered as an interim solution.  The latest budget report indicates that the county now estimates that a transfer station will cost $8 million to build (up from $5-6 million).
Commissioners Struggle with Options to Handle Sludge 
The state has permitted spraying of biosolids, also known as sewage sludge, on over 3,000 acres of land in Orange County -- privately owned lands and OWASA land -- including critical watersheds.  Sewage sludge is a byproduct of wastewater treatment and is believed to have benefits as a free fertilizer. Opponents argue that it contains harmful toxin including heavy metals and pharmaceuticals.
Biosolids has been a topic of discussion at the County since the early 1990s.  Commissioners have been discussing options to deal with sludge including research to understand its contents, an educational forum, and other options.  At the October 13th BoCC Work Session the topic was again discussed, with suggestions that it might be helpful to bring more awareness to the issue - both at the local and state level.
Biosolids are an up and coming issue.  Let us know what you think - email Bonnie or Susan with your comments.
Speaking of Sludge, SSAN Receives Grant from Weaver Street Market
The Sewage Sludge Action Network (SSAN) has received a grant from Weaver Street Market to pay for educational materials about the risks from spreading sludge from wastewater treatment plants as a fertilizer on farmlands in Orange County.
For more information about SSAN, contact Myra Dotson, chair at
OCV Becomes a Founding Member
of Justice United
OCV was one of 32 organizations that participated in the founding of Justice United.  Justice United is the outgrowth of the grassroots group known as the Orange County Organizing Committee and has been an informed and supportive partner opposing the siting of a WTS in Bingham Township.  Working with Justice United and others, OCV hopes to improve the awareness of the rural community and to continue to collaborate on shared issues affecting our communities.
Over 450 citizens attended the founding ceremony -including most of the elected officials of Orange County, Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Happiness is Growing Old at Home
Orange County resident, Maria Tadd, has just released an exciting new book about aging.  Inspired by Maria's own experience with her aging mother, it's the ultimate guide to aging at home.  It provides information on essential resources and costs, lifestyle habits and even new, easy-to-use high-tech devices that make it possible to age at home.  For more information about the book, visit Maria's Web site.  You can buy the book on and at Barnes and
How Are We Doing?
We'd love to hear from you:  Are we covering topics that interest you?  Want to know more?  About what?  Are their monthly features you'd like to see?  What can we do better?
Let us know - send us your comments, criticisms, and ideas:  email Bonnie or Susan 
Buying Appliances?  State and Federal Incentives will help the Environment
Several opportunities are coming to save money on Energy Star products:
North Carolina will offer a sales tax-free holiday weekend on the purchase of specific Energy Star products on Friday, November 6 through Sunday, November 8.
The State Energy Office is proposing to use  energy stimulus funds to create a 15% rebate program for Energy Star major appliance purchases around Earth Day weekend (April 22-25, 2010).
A second phase would come in June 2010, and would match rebates on gas storage water heaters, tankless gas water heaters, central air conditioners, heat pumps and gas furnaces offered through electric and gas utility programs.
The April and June 2010 proposals have not yet been officially approved, but the November 2009 sales tax holiday is - and is coming up soon.  For more information, click here
Community Calendar
OCV has added a community calendar to our website
OCV now has a community calendar on our website.  In addition to highlighting  important events in the rural community, we will include links to other calendars - such as Harry's Market and  BoCC meetings.

If you'd like us to post your event or link to our calendar,  please contact Susan.
Thank you for your continued support of Orange County Voice.  Together we are becoming an important voice for the rural community.
Bonnie                   &                Susan
Bonnie Hauser                               Susan Walser
Email Me                              Email Me                     
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  - Margaret Mead
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In This Issue
Rural Orange County Talks Trash!
15th Annual Orange County Open Studio Tour
Waste Transfer Station Update
Commissioners Struggle with Options to Handle Sludge
SSAN Receives Grant From Weaver Street
OCV Becomes a Founding Member of Justice United
New Book by Maria Tadd
How Are We Doing?
Buying Appliances?
Community Calendar
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