State Recycling Director warned New Hanover County last summer that R3 was a risk

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Submitted: Thu, 03/10/2011 - 5:44pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Scott Mouw, the state recycling director with the N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention & Environmental Assistance, warned New Hanover County last summer it was taking a risk with R3.

In June, Mouw told Chris Mazzolini, a reporter at the Star-News, that there was a poor track record in North Carolina for previous facilities that tried to sort garbage from recyclables. Mouw pointed to at least three so-called “dirty” material recovery facilities that failed because the equipment and processes never worked as well as advertised and the gunky waste degraded the quality of the recyclables. He said he’s not aware of any such facilities operating successfully in the Southeastern United States.

“New Hanover County is going to be taking a risk,” Mouw said. “I would be the last to say it can’t work. It may, but there’s not a proven track record.”

Mouw said New Hanover County needed to be certain before signing a contract. He suggested county officials talk to the EPA, conduct a worldwide search for similar facilities and ask hard questions.

“If I was going to buy the newest car with the best gadgets, that could also fly and go underwater, I would make sure it worked first,” he said.


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