Brunswick County is encouraging residents to “Recycle Right”
BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — Are you putting the right items in your recycling cart? That’s a question Brunswick County and several communities across the state are working to answer this fall.
Brunswick County is currently participating in the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Recycle Right NC campaign. This 10-week program was designed to teach residents about their community’s program and the value of recycling high-quality, clean materials to support the state’s thriving recycling industry and reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.
One of the ways the Recycle Right NC campaign supports Brunswick County’s recycling program specifically is that it creates uniformed guidelines followed across multiple programs defining what materials are and are not accepted.
“Having a consistent recycling message is key for any program,” Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator Micki Bozeman said. “Thanks to Recycle Right NC, residents who are moving or vacationing here have similar if not identical recycling procedures to follow as the place they came from, which helps avoid confusion and makes it easier for our customers to recycle correctly.”
Bozeman said that while there are some variances in accepted items when comparing programs, they have far more similarities in common than differences. Some of these common features include recycling only cans under the metal category and encouraging the recycling of plastic jugs and tubs, while throwing single-use plastic items like cups in the trash.
Brunswick County has committed itself to developing a strong recycling program before the Recycle Right NC campaign began—in fact, it is already considered one of the more successful recycling programs in North Carolina. The County currently ranks sixth in the state per capita for its public drop-off recycling programs and 12th in the state for curbside collections.
Over the years, the County has taken great strides to provide customers with several accessible options to recycle. The County makes biweekly curbside collections available to all county residents and offers 14 recycling drop-off centers for free and easy disposal of recyclables.
These options are one of several reasons why Brunswick County’s recycling program has flourished.
“Our recycling program’s effectiveness is also dependent on our customers’ placing the right recyclables in their carts or bringing the right items to the convenience centers,” Bozeman said. “This campaign is a great way for us to continue to educate our customers about the recycling process while also supporting our neighboring communities in their efforts to promote proper recycling habits.”
In the next few months, Brunswick County will join other communities across the state to share recycling tips and messaging to promote the Recycle Right NC standards. Residents are encouraged to follow the Keep Brunswick County Beautiful Facebook page and other County accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor to follow along.
The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners will also recognize the Recycle Right NC campaign with a proclamation at its Monday, Oct. 7 regular meeting.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, there are some instances when well-meaning residents put nonrecyclable items in their recycling cart, causing contamination of the recycling mix. That means local material recovery facilities must spend more time and money to sort out the rising levels of nonrecyclables and trash.
The Recycle Right NC campaign is one effort to solve this issue. Here are some key tips to keep in mind to avoid contaminating your recyclables:
- Place empty cans, bottles, paper and cardboard in the recycling bin, keeping everything else out
- Do not bag your recyclable items—if crews cannot see what is inside a bag, they consider it trash
- Do not put plastic bags, cords, hoses and other string-like items in the recycling bin as they can tangle around rotating equipment
- Avoid putting other things that could be hazardous to workers who sort recycling – like batteries, needles, sharp objects and food residue – into the recycling bin
- Always put Styrofoam cups and containers in the trash cart—Styrofoam is unrecyclable
- When in doubt, throw it out
Want to learn more about Brunswick County’s recycling program and how to recycle right? Visit our website at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/solid-waste-and-recycling/recycling/