North Carolina Newspapers

    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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volunteer-staffed recycling centers
and is working on plans for a sepa
rate yard waste landfill and com
posting facility.
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
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