07/02/06 — County recycling efforts to intensify

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County recycling efforts to intensify

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on July 2, 2006 2:08 AM

Wayne County officials will make a push to increase recycling in the coming year, but it will be up to local residents to take the first step toward a cleaner community, they say.

The county plans to hire a recycling coordinator soon to begin helping reduce the amount of waste that winds up in the county landfill -- costing taxpayers.

County Manager Lee Smith said every county resident is affected by solid waste disposal and the need to recycle more. Landfills are expensive to build and maintain, he said. The more materials that are recycled, the more money saved by county taxpayers.

The amount of solid waste in Wayne has doubled in the past four years, Smith said, to more than 500 tons a day. Unless recycling increases, the county will use up its allocated space at the landfill in two or three years instead of six or seven years.

In September, the landfill will enforce a cardboard ban. The ban -- which is effective only at the landfill itself, not the county's recycling and disposal sites -- will help extend the amount of time it takes to fill a landfill cell by at least three years, officials estimate. Every few years, the county is forced to buy another 20-acre landfill cell at a cost of about $1 million to hold the solid waste discarded by residents, Smith noted.

Residents can now recycle cooking oil and oil filters at some of the county's recycling centers, Solid Waste Director Lloyd Cook said. Cooking oil is accepted at the Pikeville, Rosewood, Patetown and N.C. 111 sites.

The Rosewood, Pikeville, Patetown, N.C. 111, Mitchell Road and Dudley sites began collecting oil filters in May. Cook said the solid waste department will continue to look at any options to expand recycling throughout the county.

All of the recycling centers and landfills accept cans, plastics, glass, paper, motor oil, batteries, used eyeglasses and clothes.

Any steel or aluminum can should be rinsed out before dropped off. Although the landfills accept flattened plastic bottles and plastic ring holders, people should not bring plastic bags to the centers.

Brown, green and clear glass items also are accepted at the centers, but mirrors, ceramics, light bulbs and drinking glasses are not. Any paper products brought to the centers must be clean.

Any paper items that have had food or liquid on them, such as a pizza box or a milk carton, can't be accepted, because the food or liquid remnants could contaminate the other recycled goods.

Motor oil is accepted only if it has been poured into a silver tank.

The landfills do not accept some items including sawdust, sand, liquids, tires, logs, limbs and construction debris. Furniture, appliances and metals are only accepted at the Pikeville, Rosewood, Patetown and Seven Springs centers. Any yard waste can be taken to the Old Mount Olive Highway site.

For more information on recycling, call the Keep Wayne County Beautiful office at 731-1600.