NC recycling more, tossing less in landfills
Posted April 25, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — For the second straight year, North Carolina has set a record for the lowest solid waste disposal rate since measurement of tonnage deposited in landfills began in 1991, officials said Thursday.
The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources attributed the decline in landfill trash to local recycling programs. Pitt and Catawba counties, for example, recycled more than 700 pounds of waste materials per person between them last year.
“We are pleased to see the progress that municipal and county recycling programs are making,” DENR Secretary John Skvarla said in a statement. “Recyclable commodities are increasingly important feedstocks for North Carolina manufacturers, and community collection services are a vital part of the material supply chain.”
Other findings of the annual DENR study are as follows:
- Recovery of common household recyclables rose in fiscal 2011-12 by about 2 percent from the previous year, approaching 500,000 tons collected statewide.
- Curbside recycling services are expanding and improving, giving more North Carolinians convenient opportunities to recycle.
- A record-breaking 298 curbside programs served 1.8 million households across the state in fiscal 2011-12, a 7 percent increase from the previous year.
- Collection of electronics, such as television sets and computers, also saw a big increase, almost doubling in tonnage as more communities offered collection programs.
- Some materials, such as large appliance metals, declined slightly, in part because healthy metal prices prompted residents to take the devices to private scrap yards instead of county drop-off sites.
- Collection of special wastes, such as used oil, oil filters, batteries and household hazardous materials, stayed relatively flat.
The momentum in local recycling programs is helping suppress the state’s dependence on solid waste landfills, said Scott Mouw, the state’s recycling coordinator.
“Our efforts to help improve the efficiency of local recycling programs are paying off,” Mouw said in a statement. “DENR will continue to try to help communities expand their recycling services while also helping make those services more cost effective.”