Local News

Wake County Working To Improve Recycling Efforts

Posted April 19, 2002

— Landfills in Wake County are filling up fast. Many people believe that recycling is the answer to the growing problem.

While Wake County offers a number of

dropoff locations

for paper products, aluminim cans and glass, county leaders said not as many residents are using these methods as much as they would like.

Some residents fighting a proposed landfill say Wake County should have pursued recycling more vigorously.

"Now all of a sudden they're jumping on the recycling bandwagon and promoting recycling as they should have been doing from the very beginning, but they were not," said Anne Allen, a Holly Springs resident.

Allen has been fighting a Wake County proposal to build a landfill near her house. She thinks the county would not need a new landfill so badly if it had done more to promote recycling.

"I think it's amazing that the county has not even pursued its own recycling goals," Allen said.

Jim Reynolds, Wake County's solid waste director, will not talk about Holly Springs, since the town and some of its citizens are suing the county. However, he said recycling figures are not where they ought to be.

"No, we haven't met those goals," he said.

This week, the N.C. Public Interest Research Group rated recycling efforts for counties across the state and gave Wake a "D." Reynolds said factors not reflected in the report may have skewed the results.

"Most of the highly rated counties have maybe only one or two municipalities in the county or there's a consolidated program. With Wake, we have 13 jurisdictions and they're not as consolidated as they could be," he said.

Residents in Raleigh can leave their recyclables at the curb. The county has 53 school dropoff locations, 11 convenience centers and two major material dropoff centers. Reynolds said Wake County may work with its neighbors as a way to improve its system.

"Working together to look at regional facilities, regional programs, looking at a solid waste forum in September," he said.

The county forum is scheduled for Sept. 25 in Raleigh. Participants will talk about solid waste, clean air and other environmental issues.

As far as the Holly Springs landfill proposal, the N.C. Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday. A decision is not expected for months.


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