Person County on pace to reduce solid waste

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Person County still has a plan to manage solid waste even though the state no longer requires one.

The state’s requirement was abandoned in 2013, but local officials decided to continue their efforts to reduce the amount of waste going into local landfills.

Counties can now prepare their own plan and the Division of Waste Management’s Solid Waste Section staff is able to provide assistance as needed.

“Counties can include their own specifics in the plan as long as it doesn’t disregard a state law. For example, the plan cannot include a provision to dispose of aluminum cans as they are banned from disposal by statute,” said North Carolina Environmental Quality spokesperson Laura Leonard.

According to the state, 52,805 tons of solid waste were disposed of in Person County fiscal year 2017-2018.

That number is a calculation estimate of municipal solid waste landfills and industrial, construction and demolition landfills.

The county plans to reduce solid waste revolve largely around increasing recycling efforts.

“We have recycling at the Material Recovery Facility and then, of course, the landfill takes the regular waste, said Person County Assistant Manager Sybil Tate.
Person County opened its recycling center in 2009.

In the last year or so, nearly 1,600 tons of waste was processed by the recycling center. That amounts to about 3 percent reduction in the amount of waste going into the landfill.

“We feel we are on the right track of reducing solid waste by providing the recycling center,” said Amanda Everett, Director of Person County Industries and Person County Recycling Center.

Recycling center

Formally called the Materials Reduction Facility, the recycling center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for residents to drop off their recyclables and for those who live outside the city limits, the center provides private haulers.

“We offer attendants at the door to help unload your vehicle and you don’t even need to get out of the car,” said Everett.

The material is then collected, sorted, baled and sold to companies that accept the different commodities.

Recycling center management is continuing its work to increase education, in regard to proper recycling and preventing illegal dumping.

“We are working to protect our property and those with property surrounding us by installing security cameras to prevent the recycling center from being used as a trash drop off site,” said Everett.

Officials say customers should remember is to bring recyclables in a bin or a loose non-tied bag and follow the simple rules of metal, plastic and paper.

“We have an acceptable list that details what is accepted and during what operating hours you can bring certain items,” said Everett.

Items accepted are plastics, magazines, mixed paper, newspapers, books, glass and so on.

To review a list of accepted and non-acceptable items, visit personcounty.net or contact the recycling center at 336-597-4437.

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