Local News

State Farmers Market Recycling Effort Produces Many Benefits

Posted August 23, 2002 3:59 a.m. EDT

— Items like fruits and vegetables can last for years at the dump. A local program turns that waste into something many people want, saving landfill space at the same time.

Each day at the

State Farmers Market

, growers bring in fresh produce, go over their stock and throw away the spoiled items. Now, all of that waste is being recycled.

"Last month alone we recycled 359,000 pounds from the State Farmers Market, which we think is probably a record for the East Coast, not just North Carolina," said John Craig, of Brooks Contracting.

Helen Wise sells produce at the market and loves the new program.

"Every moment of the day, it's constant. We're shucking corn, we go through our produce," she said.

Wise said the program makes her job easier and said recycling cans are located close to her stand.

State Farmers Market manager Ronnie Best said the program also improves the market.

"Our big Dumpsters don't fill up as quickly and the smell is not as bad. It's helped down here immensely," he said.

Recycling the old produce is also easing pressure on landfills.

"The North Wake Landfill currently has a little over 2 million tons of garbage," said Marshall Parrish, of the Wake County Division of Solid Waste Management.

Last year, the recycling company diverted 50,000 tons of food waste from area landfills.