Watching Our Wasteline: Composting classes, recycling district hearings coming up

Mar. 15, 2014 @ 12:54 PM

Two  composting classes are being conducted by the Solid Waste Department’s Muriel Williman this week. The first is Wednesday, 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Carolina Campus Community Garden, Wilson St. (off Cameron) in Chapel Hill.  Register with Paula Cook: 919-843-8524 or email ncbgregistrar@unc.edu. The other is Saturday, 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Solid Waste Administrative Office, 1207 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill 27516. Classes are free. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult.
If you would like a composting class for your school, social group or neighborhood, contact us to set one up by emailing recycling@oranmgecountync.gov.

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Following the ice storm last week, there is a lot of woody debris all over the county. Guidelines for management vary depending on where you live. The information below is furnished by the Orange County Solid Waste Department and is primarily for residents of the unincorporated areas that do not have publicly provided yard debris collection. Each town has its own yard waste collection policies and schedules. Refer to your town’s respective Public Works Department for yard debris collection within town limits
All residents of Orange County may use the solid waste convenience centers for disposal of up to one pickup truckload or trailer less than 10 feet long per day or weekend of brush and storm debris. No commercially hauled debris is accepted. Residents are asked to limit brush delivery or delay their delivery as long as possible as the centers are experiencing heavy demand for this service. As an alternative, residents on larger lots are encouraged to leave loose limbs in wooded areas on their property away from their houses. These will eventually decay into the soil and in the interim provide good habitat for ground nesting birds.
N.C. Department of Transportation states that it will be able to begin collecting storm debris at the roadside in about two weeks once contractors are selected. In the interim, all debris should be kept out of the road. More notification including collection schedules will be provided by NCDOT when collections begin.
The Orange County Landfill started extended hours Saturday to receive storm debris. The length of this extended-hour period of operation has not been determined at this time.
New hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday. 
Only debris originating in Orange County will be accepted by county ordinance. Loads must be covered, tied or otherwise secured to prevent spillage during transportation.

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Orange County will conduct two public hearings about establishing a new recycling service district. The first is Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Southern Human Services Center 2501 Homestead Rod Chapel Hill. The second is 6 p.m. April 1 at the Department of Social Services, 113 Mayo St., Hillsborough (the old Wal-Mart building).
The service district would be established to provide tax-generated revenue to support roadside recycling collection to the 13,800 residences that now have it plus an estimated additional 1,650 residences on properties adjoining the current service area. The property tax rate to support the service is projected to be around 1.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

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This semester at UNC, students Caroline Lamb, Skye Westra and Brooke Wilson have focused  their efforts as recycling interns on getting fraternities to recycle more by making the chapters aware of what can be recycled and providing them with an easy way to collect recyclables from their fraternity house. So far, five fraternity houses have gotten newly painted Carolina blue recycling bins in their houses: Delta Upsilon, Chi Phi, Kappa Sigma, Alpha Tau Omega and Pi Kappa Alpha. Westra writes: “We are hoping these bright bins will encourage more recycling in the fraternity houses. Along with the bins, there is now a poster on the wall behind the bin to remind everyone what can be recycled by Orange County. Two fraternities already have a recycling system in place and are constantly filling up their recycling bins each week: Delta Kappa Epsilon and Chi Psi. By observing how many recycling bins each fraternity fills each week, we are hoping to increase recycling in at least four houses by 25 percent or more by the end of the spring semester.“

As an added element to this program, Wilson has implemented a special recycling program at Lambda Chi Alpha, Kappa Sigma, and Sigma Chi fraternities to recover the red Solo cups that have become ubiquitous at parties. While Orange County does not recycle this polystyrene #6 cup, Wilson has identified a market with specialty recycler Terra Cycle that remanufactures the cups into dog bowls and contributes 2 cents a cup to charities chosen by those sending in the cups. 

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Orange County welcomes three businesses to the recycling program: Progression Climbing, the Goddard School in Chapel Hill, and The Kraken Bar on NC 54 West.

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Two Shred-A-thons are now scheduled for Orange County: April 24 University Mall near the old Dillards and April 26 behind Home Depot in Hillsborough at the recycling site. Both events are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and limited to residents and businesses in Orange County or those who work for the towns or the county. One trip and five box or bag limit.