Beginning in 2004, informal discussions were held to address potential avenues for sharing information between local governments specific to solid waste enforcement issues. These discussions included Tinker Woods of Rockingham County, Rebecca Cramer of Guilford County, Eric Martin of Randolph County, Spence Wright of Orange County, and Hugh Jernigan of the N.C. Solid Waste Section. There was a need for a mechanism to provide local governments with a source of information to assist in developing solid waste ordinances, utilizing effective enforcement techniques, dealing with uncommon situations, and other issues specific to solid waste enforcement officers.
As a result of these discussions, a professional organization was determined to be the most effective method for sharing information, and the Solid Waste Enforcement Officers Association (SWEOA) was formed.
The first official SWEOA conference/meeting was held in Chapel Hill, N.C. on June 26, 2006, attended by 68 “charter members.” This first meeting included topics on enforcement techniques, ordinance writing, training, illegal tire dumps, illegal dumping enforcement, state government’s assistance to local governments, education/outreach, and panel discussions.
Due to the popularity of the event, a Fall Conference was scheduled and held on November 14, 2006 at the Governor’s Club in Chapel Hill. During this conference a decision was made to hold an annual fall conference and have periodic workshops/meetings for members at other times of the year according to demand.
In 2008 the name of the organization was changed to North Carolina Solid Waste Enforcement Officers Association (NCSWEOA) and the Fall NCSWEOA Conference was held in Wrightsville Beach for the first time. All subsequent NCSWEOA Fall Conferences have been held in Wrightsville Beach.
From the first SWEOA Conference in 2006 to the present, the organization has kept its members abreast of the latest developments in solid waste management, disseminated information concerning solid waste enforcement, and provided a platform for the NCSWEOA members to perform their jobs effectively and safely.