PO Box 88 ~ Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email:

3204 Mt. Misery Road
Leland, NC 28451
(910) 371-1263


JULY 10, 2004

Teri Holdren (910) 371-1263
Elsie Peterson (910) 655-2658
Claude Ward (910) 604-0214


Concerned citizens gathered in Leland to protest the siting of an auto fluff landfill. Major issues were the presence of hazardous materials, the track record of the company wanting to bring the landfill, the resulting decrease of property values, and the economic future of the Cape Fear area.

Auto fluff is the residue from the recycling of scrap metal. It contains many hazardous materials and had been declared "Hazardous Waste" by the State of California. It is one of the leading sources of mercury contamination. With the Riegelwood pulp & paper mill and the coal-fired Sutton power plant representing the other two leading sources, residents don't see any advantage in becoming home to a third. Toluene, xylenes, and trichloroethylene, all carcinogens found in auto fluff, readily pass through state of the art HDPE landfill liners in one to thirteen days according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Associated Press listed the Cape Fear as North Carolina's most toxic river in September of 1998.

Gean Seay of Swamp Watch said, "We desperately need someone to take the industries and politicians to task and get this river cleaned up, not add more to its burden."

Hugo Neu, the New York-based company wanting to locate on Mt. Misery Road, has known its share of labor disputes with worker unions and the National Labor Relations Board. In addition, it was found guilty of discharging PCBs into the Los Angeles Harbor over a 3-year period. The company's endorsement by riverkeepers in Hugo Neu locations provides little comfort to the people of Brunswick County due to riverkeeper funding provided by the scrap metal giant. "It's more like a tap on the shoulder instead of a knock on the head," said Teri Holden, member of the group. As northern landfill sites fill up and come under EPA litigation, such as the Butternuts Landfill in New York where Hugo Neu has been ordered to clean up and reimburse the government for past clean up expenses, the company is forced to look south in its search for new landfill sites. This undertaking grows more difficult since a bill passed in the Clinton term denying Superfund status for auto fluff.

Residents believe the increased traffic and the presence of 170 acres of hazardous auto fluff piled 300 feet high* (only 32 feet lower than the two smoke stacks at the Sutton power plant) will cause property values to plummet and only attract similar industry. Claude Ward of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, said, "This landfill would be nothing more than a 300-foot high* pile of shredded junk yard, minus the metal. It will prevent clean industry from coming in and damage the local economy."

The Brunswick Citizens for a Safe Environment invite anyone interested in helping to join them for weekly meetings on each Monday night at 6:30. Meetings are held in their new headquarters located at 3204 Mt. Misery Road in Leland.


* Hugo Neu now says the landfill will stand 350 feet high. - rev. online July 27, 2004

More info on Hugo Neu (pictures, auto fluff fact sheet, and additional info.)