Recycling Making Gains in North Carolina, Study Concludes

Curbside recycling is available to a record number of North Carolina residents and the state’s plastic bottle recycling rate has increased nearly 50 percent since 2005, according to a new study.

The state also set a record in 2010 for recycling 112,315 tons of private facility construction waste.  And North Carolina now employs more than 15,000 in the recycling industry, according to a study by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The number of households receiving curbside recycling service has reached 1.62 million. Meanwhile, plastic bottle recycling has taken off since the state passed a disposal ban in 2005, the DENR said in news release.

More than 220,000 tons of organic materials were composted in 2010,

“North Carolinians should be proud of their efforts to increase recycling,” said Scott Mouw, recycling program supervisor in DENR's Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach. “We are turning liabilities into assets as we divert more resources from landfills through community recycling programs, recycling businesses, and commodity end-users.”

The state acknowledged future challenges, including expansion of recycling services to more work and away-from-home settings, improving the market value for materials such as construction waste and expanding the capture of organic materials for composting and energy generation.

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