We now request that those Orange County residents using Waste and Recycling Centers limit their visits to one per week to enable safe social distancing from staff and each other.
In response to recycling collectors’ safety concerns, the following policies are in effect for curbside recycling collection until further notice:
- All properly prepared and placed recycling carts will be collected as scheduled.
- No curbside recycling bins (orange or blue) will be collected until further notice. The exception is those with handicap service will still be collected unless the collector deems this unsafe and the resident will be notified.
- NOTE: Those now using 18 gallons bins may request to switch to a 95 gallon cart (call (919-968-2788, email: email@example.com) to request one, or carry their recycling to a waste & recycling center or a drop-off site, or hold until bin collection resumes.
The only plastics to go in the cart are: bottles, jugs, jars and tubs – all empty and rinsed. NO bottles that held hazardous wastes like motor oil or pesticides.
When materials are properly prepared, residents and businesses may be assured that those materials along with clean dry paper, metal cans and glass bottles are all recycled into new products.
They are not landfilled, shipped to unverified overseas or domestic markets, incinerated or otherwise improperly discarded.
Most are used here in the southeastern United States to create new products and in doing so reduce landfill space, create jobs and wealth and save natural resources.
See Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC.org
) or YourBottleMeansJobs.com
We have recently added the #1 PETE clear plastic clamshells (aka ‘hinged tub”) often used to hold berries, lettuce or other delicate produce and those are acceptable as long as they are clean and empty. Labels OK.
We have removed shredded paper and aerosol cans from the recycling mix on instructions from our processor.
The final watchword is “When in doubt, KEEP IT OUT (of your recycling cart)’.
Some tips for ‘Zero Wasters’
As coffee shops stopped allowing customers to bring their own mug and a few states have ordered the use of only disposable bags in stores – what is happening to the ’zero waste’ concept?
As recently as a month ago, environmentally conscious acts such as bringing your reusable tote bags to the grocery store and using cloth napkins to minimize paper towel use brought people joy, knowing they were doing their part to protect the environment.
Now, these acts provoke fear as reusable items are now viewed as unsanitary.
Here are some helpful tips to clear up some common misconceptions and provide information on how to safely reduce your waste during a pandemic:
- Reusable Bags: Make sure you wash and/or disinfect your reusable bags after using them. Depending on the type of bag you can throw them in the washer, clean with a disinfectant spray or hand wash with soap and water.
- Towels and Dish Rags: To minimize paper towel waste, use hand towels and rags as napkins and to wipe down counter tops. If you need more rags, cut up old clothing and use the scraps. Throw these in the washing machine to disinfect. If you continue to use paper towels, those may be composted at the carts located at the Eubanks Rd. and Walnut Grove Church Rd Waste & Recycling Centers along with any type of food waste.
- Soap: With an increase in hand washing, consider using bars of soap (package-free and much cheaper!) instead of soap in plastic bottles. NOTE: If you do use liquid soaps, discard the pump before recycling the (rinsed) bottle.
During this stressful time you can support our local farmers many of whom depended on local restaurants to buy their produce (and in turn they often use the locally produced compost including ‘your’ food scraps).
You can buy on line from some and join Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) with others.
The most up to date list for all those across the state is found at: https://visitncfarmstoday.com/faq-1.
That is an ‘app’ for the phone from which you can locate and contact local farmers to buy what’s in season.