NC residents throwing away less, recycling more

Posted February 9, 2012

— North Carolinians threw away less per capita in 2010-11 than at any time in nearly 20 years, according to a new state report.

The state's disposal rate fell below one ton per person for the first time since 1991-92, the North Carolina Solid Waste and Materials Management Report says. The 2010-11 per capita disposal rate was 0.99 tons, down from 1.07 tons the previous year.

“Our data shows yet again that the state’s disposal rate is influenced heavily by the economy,” Dexter Matthews, director of the state Division of Waste Management, said in a statement. “We are pleased to note that continually expanding state recycling efforts are also contributing to the reduction reflected in this report."

The report also found the following:

  • The amount of electronic equipment collected by counties and cities increased by 63 percent in 2010-11 after the General Assembly established a state electronic management program in 2010. The amount of electronic materials collected by local programs has nearly doubled since 2008-09, from 0.84 to 1.55 pounds per capita.
  • The number of local curbside recycling programs reached a record high of 283 in 2010-11, serving more than 1.68 million households across the state.
  • Reported prices for recyclable materials were extremely strong in 2010-11 before declining slightly at the end of the fiscal year, indicating healthy market demand for recovered commodities.

“North Carolina continues to make tremendous strides in the recovery of recyclable materials, which helps create jobs and feed a growing recycling economy,” Scott Mouw, chief of the Community and Business Assistance section in the Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach, said in a statement. “We still have room for improvement, but we are on the right path.”

The report recommends that state environmental officials increase the focus on recycling and the diversion of large solid waste management streams, such as food and wood wastes, to ensure that landfill capacity is available as the state’s population increases and the economic recovery strengthens. The report also calls on state officials to expand the collection of plastic bottles and other recyclables to meet the capacity of the state’s growing recycling markets.


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  • Hammerhead Feb 10, 2012

    Surely you're smart enough work it into a schedule somehow, Iwork. Even if you drive, the stuff still isn't going into the ground. I have to drive 15 miles round trip to the dump, doesn't mean I bury my own trash. What do you do with your regular trash? Do you take it to the dump? Don't they have recycling there? Either way, recycling is the right thing to do.

  • Iworkforaliving Feb 10, 2012

    "There is no downside to recycling, only the clueless wouldn't do it."
    The closest recycling facility to me is about 15 miles. So do I waste a couple of gallons of GAS to recycle a bag of plastic and (I'll never figure out why we do this) paper? And please don't feed me that line of forever in a landfill bs. I can't even get my groceries to the house with the bag breaking and you're going to try to tell me it will last forever in the sun or dirt? I was born during the day but it wasn't yesterday.

  • Iworkforaliving Feb 10, 2012

    love2dostuff, $2 for a gallon of water? you need to shop somewhere else. target and food lion have them for 79 cents a gallon.

  • Iworkforaliving Feb 10, 2012

    yourmadscientist, everything has a taste. Even "pure" water.

  • TwoWheels Feb 10, 2012

    thanks for the info regarding recycling. btw - i have about 4 large boxes of stuff that needs to be shredded.. it would burn my home shredder. will shred and recycle..located off glenwood ave near umstead. its about 30 min (inc traffic) from my house... "Available at $0.15 per pound, with a $5.00 minimum (Cash or Check only)". with the amount of stuff i have now, i might need to add it on my todos if i have an errand near there...

  • Hammerhead Feb 10, 2012

    WooHoo, he's just causing trouble. Somebody has to do it since it's impossibe, no matter what the subject, to have every one agree on something. It's their insecurity showing. You could post that the sun comes up in the east and some one would disagree. There is no downside to recycling, only the clueless wouldn't do it.

  • WooHoo2You Feb 9, 2012

    Thats good since I have become anti-green. I recycle nothing.-whatelseisnew

    People like you confuse me. You do understand that nothing we take from the earth is infinite, right?

  • whatelseisnew Feb 9, 2012

    Thats good since I have become anti-green. I recycle nothing.

  • smegma Feb 9, 2012

    if you're talking filters, go for the only one that matters. BERKEY. it even removes the flouride brain poison you think gives you a healthy smile. also it's gravity fed (no electricity needed) and the filters last 10 years

  • bgcoving Feb 9, 2012

    I've gotten to the point where I recycle everything I can. Paper towels, aluminum foil from packaging, you name it....My recycle bin is usually fuller than the trash bin.