courthouse-clocktowerHere in New Hanover County, the community, elected officials and county staff cooperate to balance a high quality of life with a progressive business and economic climate.

At less than 200 square miles, New Hanover County is the second smallest – geographically – of the 100 North Carolina counties; however, it is home to more than 232,000 people.

New Hanover County is not just a great place in which to live or visit. New Hanover County is also a great place to do business. Tourism, film production, the service and retail sectors are the engines that power our economy.

Our Mission: New Hanover County is committed to progressive public policy, superior service, courteous contact, judicious exercise of authority, and sound fiscal management to meet the needs and concerns of our citizens today and tomorrow.

The government of New Hanover County is committed to ensuring that you are safe, healthy and secure; that is our promise to you.

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet serves as chief administrator of county government and maintains responsibility for administering all departments under the general control of the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The county manager’s work includes the development of the county’s annual budget. The budget is the policy document, financial plan, and operations guide and communications device of county government. It reflects the county’s response to the needs of the community and residents’ requests for services. New Hanover County’s government operates on a $392 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2018 and ends June 30, 2019, serving more than 227,000 residents.

In addition, the manager and his executive leadership team are responsible for aligning the operations of the county to the adopted strategic plan and advancing the county’s mission and vision through five key focus areas: superior education and workforce, superior public health and safety, intelligent growth and economic development, strong financial performance, and effective county management.

Mr. Coudriet has served as the county manager since July 2012. Prior to his appointment, he served as assistant county manager for New Hanover County for four years and as county manager in Franklin and Washington counties, N.C.

Mr. Coudriet has nearly twenty-five years of public administration experience, with more than a decade as a county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He is a native of eastern North Carolina. Chris and his wife, Leigh, and two children Montgomery and Silas, reside in Wilmington.

New Hanover County has received the final economic development target analysis report from Jay Garner titled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment and it’s critical companion piece, the Competitive Realties Report.

Manager's Message

Increasing Recycling, Reuse and Waste Reduction

Posted July 18, 2018 at 3:58 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet

If you want to see innovation at work, take a tour around the New Hanover County landfill.

You won’t just see a pile of trash; you’ll see one of the state’s most advanced integrated solid waste management systems that includes recycling, waste diversion and initiatives that target long-term sustainability. These programs are extending the life of the landfill, protecting the environment, and are much more cost effective than landfill expansion.

The Environmental Management Department oversees recycling and solid waste for the county, and they operate as an enterprise fund. That means they operate like a business by generating their own revenue and they do not use any property or sales taxes that you may pay.

Since Environmental Management Director Joe Suleyman joined our team over six years ago, I have been impressed with the innovative business model he has brought to New Hanover County. The department has implemented new programs to divert materials from the landfill and improve the environment, developed public/private partnerships that have led to increased exports and created jobs, and they are providing stability and predictability in our waste management program.

As New Hanover County grows, so does our waste. Over the past four years, waste disposal has increased 10 percent each year. Our priority must be to prolong the life of the landfill as much as possible. And, as it stands with our diversion efforts, we will be able to extend the lifespan of the landfill from 90 years, where it was three years ago, to more than 180 years.

Here’s a look at some of those innovative efforts that are increasing recycling, reuse, and waste reduction.

Food Waste Composting Program

The county’s food waste composting program is our newest waste diversion program. After more than a year of piloting the program using pre-consumer food waste from UNCW’s dining halls, it is open and free for residents to bring unpackaged food waste to the composter.

Food waste and compostable material make up more than 50 percent of the landfill’s content, so this new program is a meaningful step towards reducing the amount of waste the county generates. The in-vessel system also provides a nutrient rich-compost the county is using at our parks and gardens, including the Arboretum and Airlie Gardens.

Construction & Demolition Facility

Adjacent to the landfill, the automated Construction & Demolition Facility opened in July 2016 and diverts over 20,000 tons each year from landfill disposal. Ninety percent of construction and demolition debris is recyclable, including scrap wood and lumber, sheetrock, scrap metals, old appliances, asphalt roof shingles, concrete, brick, carpet and more.

So, by diverting these materials, we minimize landfill deposits, recycle materials that can go back into the market to be used to make new products, and save haulers time and money because they can drive on a concrete pad at the facility rather than driving on the landfill.

Household Hazardous Waste Programs

In May 2013, the county opened its Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling Facility to provide residents with a free option to recycle household chemicals, oils, electronics, batteries and more. This permanent facility has been successful and kept nearly 650 tons of the most toxic, flammable, corrosive and reactive chemicals out of the landfill each year.

In addition, a mobile collection unit, called the HazWagon, was created in January 2017 to give residents an easier and more convenient way to dispose of hazardous waste and electronics. The HazWagon is stationed at three different locations each week: Ogden Park on Mondays, Wrightsville Beach on Wednesdays, and Carolina Beach on Fridays.

The HazWagon won an Achievement Award in 2017 from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its innovation and the increased level of service it provides to residents. With its addition, the county is now diverting 875 tons of contaminants each year and keeping waste that can be harmful to our health and to the environment out of the landfill.

Recycling Facility

New Hanover County partnered with Sonoco Recycling to operate a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in July 2015. The facility processes recyclables from New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties, as well as the City of Wilmington, at about 25,000 tons per year.

It is the only MRF in Southeastern North Carolina and many of the recovered materials are shipped worldwide through the Port of Wilmington. Revenues generated from the sales of recovered materials help offset the cost of the county’s Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling programs, which are available at no charge to county residents.

We are diverting nearly everything we can from the landfill with these innovative programs, all while lowering the landfill tip fee nearly 19 percent since 2014. We all pay less to dispose at the county landfill but have more services and options to manage our solid waste than ever.

You can learn more about the multiple options to recycle waste in New Hanover County at Recycling.NHCgov.com. And you can even schedule a tour to see these innovative programs at work.


Adopted Budget Saves Taxpayer Money and Makes Strategic Investments

Posted June 19, 2018 at 4:45 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet New Hanover County’s newly-adopted budget leaves more money in taxpayers’ pockets – $5.1 million to be exact – all while increasing funding for our public … Read More »


County Projects are Investments in Our Future

Posted May 21, 2018 at 2:38 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet A new fire station, library, Public Health and Social Services building, and the potential development of Project Grace. Those are four of the major projects … Read More »


New Hanover County Supports Job Growth, Economic Development

Posted April 19, 2018 at 9:18 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet Economic development incentives are an important aspect of New Hanover County’s strategy to encourage the private sector to grow, create jobs, invest in our community … Read More »


Manager’s Message: Social Workers Advocate, Support and Encourage

Posted March 21, 2018 at 11:08 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet March is National Social Worker Month, and New Hanover County has an incredible team of social workers that serve our community every day. Their compassion, … Read More »