Watching Our Wasteline: Successful Shred-A-Thons; summer events coming up

May. 29, 2014 @ 12:51 PM

The most recent Shred-A-Thons for confidential paper held April 24 and April 26 brought out 1,100 people who had over 52,000 pounds of confidential paper shredded onsite by contractor Pro-Shred. The events were sponsored by Orange County, and the Chapel Hill event was staffed by Orange County Solid Waste and the Chapel Hill Police Department. At the Hillsborough Shred-A-Thon, Orange County was assisted by the Hillsborough Police Department and volunteers Kacia Vines and Desaray Rockett from Beyond Expectations, a teen support group based in Hillsborough.   

The next two Shred-A-Thons are slated for October 2014, pending approval of a county budget that has funding for both events.
The annual Timeless Cruisers Car Show held in Efland May 9 and 10 had its usual complement of recycling provided by Orange County Solid Waste Management along with the hundreds of classic cars and we collected about 1,300 bottles and cans. 
The annual Community Dinner held in Carrboro April 27 reported an estimated diversion rate of over 90 percent of the trash to either composting or recycling.  Kudos to the tireless Nerys Levy and her  volunteer staff at this event for converting all serving ware to compostable plates, cups and utensils and to kitchen staff who diligently separate and rinse all the aluminum serving pans for recycling. 
Recycling volunteer opportunities are coming up. Hog Day is scheduled for the evening of June 20 and all day June 21. Muriel Williman is seeking recycling volunteers to help with the significant recycling effort that comes along with the event. Can contact her at (919) 968-2788 or 
The Eno River Festival on July 4 and 5 is enjoying its 35th year of music and fun for a good cause – preserving land along the river to protect this water resource. The Eno Fest also seeks recycling volunteers for its trash-free festival: or call Christy at (919) 620-9099, ext. 203.
If you are interested in recycling or waste diversion at your special event, please let our office know. We can provide containers and consultation services.


Orange County is in the beginning stages of final closure of the municipal solid waste landfill on Eubanks Road, which involves placing an impervious layer of material (cap) over the landfill to keep rain water out of the trash below. This process is referred to as “capping” the landfill. The project cost of $3.4 million is paid from solid waste reserve funds set aside for this project.
The landfill cap is an engineered system that is made up of a thick, flexible plastic layer that is similar to a pond or pool liner but much thicker and stronger. The liner is then covered with a geo-composite drainage layer that is made out of thick plastic netting sandwiched between two pieces of felt-like material. The purpose of the composite is to prevent water from ponding on top of the liner, and to carry water down the outer slope of the landfill instead.
The last part of the cap system is the dirt cover, which will protect the plastic liner from being punctured and will be made up of 18 inches of fill type material and then 6 inches of topsoil. The topsoil will be seeded with grass to help control erosion.
The landfill will be monitored by the county for at least 30 years after the closure is complete. This will include continuing to monitor for groundwater contamination and landfill gas migration, as well as checking the condition of the cap system and looking for signs of possible failure. 


A reminder that for those who live within town limits of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough: New blue recycling 95-gallon roll carts are being delivered beginning June 9 to replace the old 18-gallon bins you’ve been trundling to the curb for years. A few details are being worked out on the hard-to-serve areas, such as those with narrow alleys or little storage space for carts. We know the temptation will be great to start using the cart right away, but do not use it until the week of June 30 on your recycling day. Continue using the blue bins until then.

If you don’t want your old bins any longer, put them in the new cart during the month of July and they will be recycled. You may also keep them for internal use or donate them somewhere that needs a recycling bin. Also starting the week of June 30, recycling day will change for about 400 houses or 2 percent of our current urban curbside customers, mostly in the Vineyard neighborhood off Weaver Dairy Road. We will be mailing those residents a notice of the day change as well as a door hanger when the carts are delivered to serve as a reminder of the change.  Otherwise, keep to your regular schedule including putting your cart out to the street by 7 a.m. and rolling it back in after recycling collection. Keep 3 feet between the cart and other objects like your garbage cart, mailbox, trees or the fire hydrant. More details can be found on our website:


Planning your summer vacation? Don’t forget about the trash.  If you’re renting a beach house or mountain cabin, check with the owner or rental agency to find out if the house has recycling or check with the local government to see if there is recycling available nearby at a drop-off site.
You can find a list of all North Carolina local government recycling contacts on the state web page. There is also a map, and you can click on the county of your destination and find the details: or call (877) 623-6748.  If your destination has no recycling, please bring your recyclables home; you know where and how to recycle in this county!
Or consider taking time to contact the local government there suggesting that they establish recycling. It is state law to recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles, both of which are usually in abundance on most vacations.  It’s also the law in North Carolina for restaurants serving alcohol and bars to recycle.  Driving the interstate? No problem, almost all NCDOT rest areas are now loaded up with recycling bins for paper, cans and bottles. Keep your trash separate from those valuable recyclables.