No plastic bottles in landfills

October 1, 2009 7:04:01 AM PDT
A new law banning plastic bottles in state landfills is meant to encourage recycling, while supplying more material for use by green manufacturers.Starting Thursday, state law gets specific about proper plastic bottle disposal.

"They should go in your recycle bin," said Bianca Howard with Raleigh Solid Waste Services. "The only exception is motor oil bottles. The law doesn't apply to them."

The plastic bottle rule is intended to create more room in landfills.

"And it's very expensive to build new landfills," Howard said. "So recycling plastic bottles saves landfill space and it lets those plastic bottles have a new life, as new products."

It sounds like a good idea, but not everyone has heard that they're supposed to make sure that the bottles get recycled and don't wind up in the landfill.

"I mean, all trash is trash, I thought," Raleigh resident Wilbur Ruffin said.

Ruffin said he brought lots of trash over to the North Wake Solid Waste Convenience Center, including some plastic bottles.

"I know they recycle plastic and cardboard, but to bring it up here like this, I thought you could just put it in there," he said.

The ban applies to plastic bottles, wooden pallets and oil filters. But Styrofoam or plastic like drinking cups, is not recyclable.

Authorities said it should go in the trash, not the bin. They said they are working to raise awareness.

"Hand out flyers where we can, and everywhere we go we talk about the ban," Howard said. "It's really important that waste haulers help enforce this ban, too."

Authorities said recycling processors won't accept plastic that is not bottle shaped. That means yogurt cups, margarine tubs and plastic cups many coffee shops use.

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