FEW COUNTY RESIDENTS ARE RECYCLING Brunswick Has Long Way To Go In Solid Waste Battle BY DOUG RUTTER Brunswick County has comc a long way in the past 16 months in terms of recycling, but it is nowhere near the statewide goal for waste re duction set forth in the 1989 legisla tion known as Senate Bill 111. That was the bottom-line mes sage from five county officials who discussed waste management at a seminar last Thursday at the Public Assembly Building in Bolivia. Speakers said the county is more fortunate than others in North Caro lina due to the availability of recy clable collection centers and at least five years worth of space in its land fill. But Brunswick County Engineer Robert Tucker said the county will be hard pressed to meet the man dates approved two years ago in S.B. Ill ? including the goal of 25 percent solid waste reduction by July 1, 1993. Since passage of the most impor tant solid waste legislation in North Carolina history. Tucker said the county has reduced the amount of waste going into its landfill by only 1 percent. The county engineer "seriously doubts" the area will meet the 25 percent waste reduction goal, unless a curbsidc recycling program is started in highly-populated areas. "It's a classic case of 5 percent of "It's a classic case of 5 percent of the people in the county doing a great job. The other 95 percent are sitting back watching them do a great job. ' ? Robert Tucker Brunswick County Engineer the people in the county doing a great job," Tucker told an audience of about 20 people who attended The Waste Dilemma. ..Tough Choic es For The 90s. "The other 95 per cent are sitting back watching them do a great job." Tuckcr said there isn't much the slate can do besides deny permits if the county doesn't meet the goal. 'There really wasn't a lot of teeth put in the legislation as far as penal ties," he said. Besides the 1993 waste reduction goal, the law included mandates on recycling, packaging and training for landfill operators. S.B. Ill also prohibits the burial of items such as motor oil and whole tires in land fills. To comply with the law, Tuckcr said the county is splitting tires in half before putting them in the land fill. Brunswick County also funds Driver's License Bill Would Exempt Public Safety Workers A bill co-sponsorcd by Rep. E. David Rcdwine would reinstate the exemption for certain drivers licens es for public safety workers. H.B. 19 would allow a Gass "C* licensee to drive any firefighting ve hicle, rescue vehicle or any combi nation of vehicle, regardless of gross weight, operated in performance of duties for a municipal or rural fire department or rescue squad. Two other bills of particular in terest were introduced this week, Redwine said. H.B. 102 would amend the state Constitution to 1) provide for the appointment of appellate judges by the governor, with the advice and consent of the General Assembly, and 2) authorize the General As sembly to provide a procedure lo determine if judges so appointed should be retained in office. The bill calls for a statewide elec tion this November to decide the is sue. "I support the concept," said Redwine, "because I believe it will mean a better judicial system and help de-politicize the judicial pro cess." In the Senate a bill was intro duced which would permit elderly individuals to defer payment of property tax increases on their resi dence until the property is trans ferred. The bill, S.B. 57, would allow a North Carolina resident age 65 or older, with a disposal income of 525,000 a year or less, to defer in creases in propeity taxes on his per manent residence. Taxes deferred could not exceed 85 percent of the value of the prop erty, said Redwine. The deferred taxes would constitute a lien on the property and would have to be paid upon the owner's death, transfer of the property to anyone other than a spouse, or upon failure of the owner to occupy the property as a perma nent residence for three successive years. During the past week various ap propriations subcommittees met to begin their review of various de partments of state government. Redwine said the Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee, of which he is co-chairman, has begun its overview with the Department of Corrections. The department has presented its program needs and budget expansion requests. Last year state voters passed a 5200 million bond referendum to renovate existing prison facilities and to build new facilities. One question before the subcom mittee now, said Redwine, concerns the expenses required when and if the new facilities are built. "We have estimated that it will cost $40 million per year to operate these new facilities," he said in his weekly report "At this point in time, with our budget shortfall, we may have a hard time finding that amount of money, "Of course, we have to keep in mind the need for these additional prison spaces." Overcrowding is a serious prob lem within the North Carolina pri son system, resulting in early re lease of prisoners when occupancy "caps" are reached. Those with questions about these or other issues in the General As sembly can contact Redwine at (919) 733-5787, or write to him at 632 State Legislative Office Build ing, Raleigh, N.C. 27611. 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Tucker said the county probably will do away with green box sites in the near future and set up manned sites. Tipping fees, which would be charged to users of the landfill, arc under consideration. Recycling Efforts Volunteer recycling efforts in Brunswick County started in No vember 1989 when the first collec tion center opened in Boiling Spring Lakes. Since then, other recycling sites have opened at Sunset Bcach, Cala bash, Shallotte, Holden Bcach, Long Bcach, Soulhport and Leland. Volunteers run most of the trailers, which are provided by Bush Recy cling of Florence, S.C. Brunswick Clean County Coor dinator Terry Munn said 4 1 1 tons of waste had been collected at the re cycling centers as of January. Ranked according to weight, the biggest category of recyclables has been newspaper and office paper, followed by glass, cardboard and other paper, aluminum and plastic. As part of the recycling move ment, Brunswick County's chapter of Keep America Beautiful was founded in June 1990. Munn said the organization, which stresses re cycling education, has 13 volunteer board members and 30 to 40 com mittee members. Sonja Remington, environmental health specialist with the Brunswick County Health Department, said the average county resident creates about 3 1/2 pounds of trash every day and 1,300 pounds a year. "Wc creatc ihc trash. We need to care about what happens to it," she said. "People creatc the litter and people can stop :t." Besides being mandated by state law, Ms. Remington said there arc many reasons to rccyclc. It pre serves spacc in landfills for items that cannot be recycled cuts down on disposal costs an j helps the en vironment. Bruce Williams, area specialized associate agent with the Agricultur al Extension Service, said even the laziest people can recycle every time they cut the grass. By some estimates, Williams said grass clippings account for 10 per cent of the waste generated each year in the United Stales. Ameri cans throw away 15 million tons of grass clippings per year. Williams said leaving grass clip pings on the lawn will not damage the yard and will save the home owner time and money. He said most lawn care experts recommend "grasscycling." For test results, Williams said no more than the one-third of the grass should be cut with each mowing. If the desired height of the grass is one inch, for instance, it should be cut when it is 1 1/2 inches tall. Local golf courses leave grass clippings on their fairways. Wil liams said clippings are removed from greens because the blades of grass interfere with putting. As part of the seminar, Williams discussed composting, a natural process in which organic matter de cays and can be used for fertilizer. Composting is a way of recycling yard waste. "Nature is probably the biggest composter in the worid, and i ihiiik we should learn something from that," Williams said. Brunswick County Home Eco nomics Extension Agent Mary Russ SWF PHOTO BY DOUG K UTTER HOME ECONOMICS EXTENSION AGENT Mary Russ collects recyclable items in her home with this bag holder made out of PVC pipe. It was on display last week in Bolivia as part of a solid waste seminar. also talked about handling haz ardous waste around the home. "When you go shopping read the label," she advised. "Buy the least harmful oroduct you can find that willdw u.ejob." THF BLIND CONNECTION "j\fforxlabU! Window Treatment*... With Style" save on Skylltes ? Arches ? Verticals ? Mini ar Micro Blinds ? Wood Blind* ? Vinyl Blind* ? Pleated Shades ? Valances ? Custom ar Ready Made Hran^rv ? Oranm Hardware V ffl g g g-g.g p.g. g gjuuuu (803) 249-1790 102 Sundial Ctr. / N. Myrtle Beach (Hwy. 17 mc Serving: Shallotte ? 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