Despite growth in overall recycling, North Carolina residents have showed no interest in improving their traditional recycling habits.

Collection of traditional recyclables, such as cans or newspapers, was stagnant during the 2006 fiscal year, according to an analysis released Thursday from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“There are some people that no matter how you try to convince them to recycle, you won‘‘t convince them because they don‘‘t like it,” said Jim Hickman, waste management analyst for the state Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance.

Overall recycling increased by 4 percent, mostly due to increases in collection of scrap tires and yard waste, according to the agency. During the year, North Carolina recycled 1.2 million tons of material, Hickman said. By contrast, the state threw away 11.7 million tons.

Hickman said more than 14,000 jobs in the state rely on the collection, processing or use of recyclable materials. And while the state has roughly 40 landfills, state lawmakers are considering new regulations that would make it more difficult to build a new landfill in North Carolina.

But recycling programmes can be costly. Johnston County, which ranked 97th out of 100 counties in the amount of material collected per resident, has cut back on recycling programs as part of tough budget choices. Smithfield, for example, eliminated its curbside recycling program about four years ago because only about 30 percent of the city‘‘s residents participated, said City Manager Pete Connet.

Hickman said that the state‘‘s top recycling counties were doing well and getting better. Tourist-haven Dare County recycled 748 pounds of material per person – far more than any other county. Statewide, 213 municipalities offer curbside recycling, down from a high of 261 in 1999, Hickman said.

Ano da Publicação:
WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #22-2007-June 01, 2007
Kit Strange/Warmer Bulletin
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