04/05/04 — Wayne ranks 34th in recycling

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Wayne ranks 34th in recycling

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on April 5, 2004 1:57 PM

A new state report ranks Wayne County only 34th among the state's 100 counties in getting its residents to recycle.

In contrast, Duplin County is collecting almost 50 percent more of recyclable materials per resident than Wayne County is.

Wayne County officials hope to step up their efforts this year. People have tended to take recycling programs for granted, County Manager Lee Smith said last week. The county's solid waste committee planned to talk today about recycling, among other items.

Last week the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources released its annual study of recycling rates. The figures were for the year that ended in June 2003 and included both municipal and county recycling programs.

In Wayne County, more than 12.8 million pounds of recyclable materials were collected in 2002-2003. That equals almost 113 pounds per every Wayne County resident.

The statewide per capita average was 109 pounds.

In contrast, Duplin County collected more than 8.5 million pounds, or around 169 pounds per resident. Duplin ranks 12th statewide.

The state's top recycler was Pitt County, which collected 714 pounds for every resident. In addition to its recycling programs, it has a plant that pulls recyclables out of garbage before it is put into its landfill. It also turned more than 27,000 tons of wood waste into boiler fuel.

Robeson County did the poorest job, only collecting 1.5 pounds per resident.

The per capita averages for Wayne's neighboring counties were Wilson, 148 pounds; Lenoir, 99 pounds; Sampson, 45 pounds; Greene, 43 pounds; and Johnston, 33 pounds.