I'm a bit torn over this S328, and I admit, I haven't read the bill (I'm just not wonky enough I guess). You see, I think expanding landfills, especially those that handle "outside" waste streams, could be a good thing for our state, if and only if it's done properly.
In my line of work I get to see things most other people never even hear about. Take landfills for instance. When's the last time you got to watch one be constructed from the bare dirt up? I've done it, more than once. Modern landfills are extremely safe compared to how things were done even twenty years ago. With proper regulation and monitoring most will never cause a problem and if they do, it can be caught and addressed quickly with minimal harm to the surrounding communities. Re-opening old landfills is another issue entirely, with lots of problems to be addressed.
I also happen to know a bit about the economic advantages of a large compost pile, which is really all a landfill is. Landfills produce methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases around. Landfill methane is captured and often burned off, like the gas flares you see in pictures from an oilfield, but in many places, including several across North Carolina, that captured gas is being put to use as renewable energy.
Burning methane to spin a turbine is far better than simply releasing it into the atmosphere, and it produces something useful in the process - electricity, and that's just one of several ways to put civilization's waste to work for us rather than against us.
Of course all that technology requires human inputs of labor, often highly skilled labor, to keep it functioning and properly maintained, so landfills also create jobs. Jobs that will be hanging around for a while and can't be outsourced, so overall I'm inclined to support the idea of managing other people's trash for them, but there's a catch.
A properly maintained and operated landfill doesn't stink any more than a properly functioning farm, nor do they leak. It's only when oversight and maintenance is neglected that we run into problems, and given the people we have running things in Raleigh right now and their ideological - and stupid, I might add - opposition to both regulation and public works(as opposed to private contracts), I'm pretty sure we can't trust them to do this the right way.
We live in a word filled with technology that offers us great opportunities to turn negatives into positives, and this is one of them, but it requires constant vigilance and regular maintenance that cannot be ignored or neglected in the name of a quarterly profit statement or shareholder dividends.
So, on one hand I see great potential for good in the idea of mega-landfills and solving waste processing issues for other states. Doing so could create quite a few good paying, sustainable jobs for our rural communities. On the other hand, I have zero faith in the ability or willingness of the current Republican controlled legislature to properly understand the issues involved, much less act and budget accordingly, and weakening our standards is absolutely a move in the wrong direction.