Waynesville will begin rolling out new recycling carts for residents this month as it officially transitions from collecting recyclable items in blue plastic bags to curbside carts.
The 65-gallon carts will start arriving at residents’ homes on Monday, March 21. The carts will replace the blue bags currently used for residential recycling and come with wheels for easy maneuvering and attached lids to keep recyclables dry and secure.
Haywood County received a Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant from the Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service at the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) to support this investment in recycling. NC DEQ provides these grants to help local governments build capacity to divert materials from disposal.
The state grant to Haywood County will provide support to Waynesville to purchase curbside recycling carts for each household, recycling education and outreach materials, and cart tippers for the Town’s recycling collection truck. This grant is unique because it includes indirect support from The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit organization that is partnering with the state. Waynesville also received grant funding from the Southeast Recycling Development Council to assist with the purchase of recycling carts and educational materials.
“This grant to Haywood County furthers the state’s goal of making recycling accessible and convenient to more North Carolinians. We expect that Waynesville’s transition to cart-based recycling will allow households to recycle an additional 120 pounds per year, increasing the Town’s recycling tonnage by more than 50 percent. We estimate the Town will generate more than 1.5 million pounds of recyclables each year to support North Carolina’s economy,” said Wendy Worley, NC DEQ’s Recycling and Materials Management Section Chief.
“The Recycling Partnership is thrilled to be partnering with NC DEQ to help support recycling in North Carolina,” said Keysha Burton, Community Programs Manager at The Recycling Partnership. “Waynesville residents will be able to redirect valuable recyclables away from landfill and into the supply chain to be made into new products and packaging, supporting local manufacturing while conserving valuable resources.”
“The Southeast Recycling Development Council, with support from The Coca-Cola Foundation, is contributing to the improvements to the collection of recycling material in Waynesville,” said Will Sagar, Executive Director of the Southeast Recycling Development Council. “These materials will help furnish feedstock for private production of consumer goods across the region. Demand for these materials is stronger than ever and supports 90,000 manufacturing jobs in these factories.”
The Town asks that residents do their part by placing only items accepted for recycling in their recycling carts, including empty and dry glass bottles and jars, aluminum and steel cans, food and beverage cartons, paper products (including newspapers and flattened cardboard), and plastic bottles, tubs, jugs, and jars.
Some items that cannot be recycled in curbside recycling include plastic bags, paper towels, electrical equipment, batteries, and clothing. These items often get mixed into recycling carts because of “wishcycling,” or the hope that they can be recycled. While well-intentioned, non-recyclable items cause serious issues at recycling processing facilities.