Local News

Raleigh Leaders Want To Increase Recycling Efforts

Posted March 13, 2003

— Raleigh residents dumped 74,000 tons of garbage in the North Wake landfill last year. They only recycled 14,000 tons of trash. A city task force says the system is out of balance.

"We're sending way too much to the landfill to be able to maintain its capacity over the long term. One way to prolong the capacity is to increase the volume that doesn't go there -- the recyclables," said Brian McCrodden, chairman of the task force.

According to the latest figures, the average person in Wake County creates 2,800 pounds of waste per year, which is 600 more per person than Cumberland County and 800 more than people in Durham, which ships most of its trash out of state.

Anne Lukhard and her family recycle so many materials they sometimes run out of room to store them. The city only picks up recyclables twice a month, so Lukhard brought hers to the recycling center at the landfill.

"It'd be great if they came on a more regular basis. We fill up fast with newspapers and bottles. We could use more recycling pickups," she said.

Raleigh residents might get more recycling pickups if the city adopts some task force suggestions. Right now, Raleigh crews pick up trash twice a week and recycling twice a month. Some say the schedule discourages people from recycling. They suggest picking up garbage and recycling together once a week on the same day.

"We felt picking it up on the same day would be easier to remember. You'll know they get everything on the same day," McCrodden said.

The city is likely to vote in a few weeks to start pilot programs in a few neighborhoods. The city is considering the elimination of backyard pickup and make residents take their trash to the curb.


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