Wake County wants less waste, more recycling

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Trash is a growing problem in Wake County. Each year more than 400,000 tons of litter is disposed of in our local landfills. Now, John Roberson, Wake County's Solid Waste Management Director, is encouraging less waste and more recycling.

"There are still people that don't like to recycle because of lack of convenience or whatever their excuse may be. Those items could be not only be helping the environment through being recycled, but there is also some revenue that could be gained by going through the recycling process," he said.

Items like mattresses, construction debris, and food waste are the most troublesome. Roberson estimates that somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of the waste in our landfills comes from food.

A problem Roberson says could be reduced by composting.

Electronics and batteries are also problematic and the county is hoping people will recycle some of these items to help preserve space in our landfill.

They are putting on a recycling event on Saturday, November 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Wake Multi-Material Recycling Facility, located at 6130 Old Smithfield Road in Apex.

There you can bring your televisions, computers, and other electronics as well as oil, batteries, paint, and chemicals as well as other items.

"Harsh chemicals are bad for the environment, and bad for landfills. Our facility is a lined facility, so there is not a risk of contaminating the ground water," Roberson explained. "But certainly, as that material percolates through the landfill, it does end up at a Wastewater Treatment plant."

Roberson and his crew constantly monitor the water in and around the dump.

County officials will also be shredding documents at the event. Each person will be allowed to bring 2 boxes of paper to be shredded on site.

Recycling is an easy way to help protect our planet, reduce our waste as humans, and preserve our streams and creeks.

Wake County officials are hoping our current landfill will last another 30 years.

For more information on the event, as well as a list of acceptable items, click here

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