Watching Our Wasteline: Collections rescheduled for Memorial Day holiday

May. 18, 2013 @ 03:13 PM

The Orange County Landfill and Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be closed May 27 to commemorate Memorial Day, honoring all those Americans killed in all wars our country has fought. Curbside recycling collections will be conducted as usual that day. For those in Chapel Hill with residential trash collection on Mondays, collection will shift to Wednesday. In Carrboro and Hillsborough, those with Monday trash will be collected Tuesday.
The Solid Waste Department organized the first off-campus Student Moveout ReUse Rodeo held May 7 -10, oriented at UNC students moving out after finals. Over the four-day period, residents donated more than 2,500 pounds of reusable goods to local charities. The Rodeo was held at the Hargraves Community Center in the Northside neighborhood of Chapel Hill, attracting not just students moving out but also year-round residents cleaning up.
Participation was light, but those bringing items brought a lot. Event organizer Muriel Williman said, “They seemed very happy to have a convenient place to bring their things and know the items would be put to good use in our community.” Most notable donations included 30 boxes of shoes, 10 cases of feminine sanitary products, a marble-topped table, and an entire collection of cellphones from one UNC sorority. The Hargraves Center’s Back-to School program will also be well stocked this fall with plenty of book bags and other school supplies. Volunteers from the PTA Thrift Store, Compass Center, Downtown Partnership, Interfaith Council, UNC and staff from the Solid Waste Management Department and the Hargraves Center all heard the message “Great idea!”, so we hope to repeat the Reuse Rodeo next year.
The semi-annual free Shred-A-Thons put on by the Solid Waste Department and Chapel Hill Police Department with sponsorship from the Partnership for a Sustainable Community of the Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber of Commerce brought out over 1,100 people and businesses to recycle their confidential paper in April. The contractor, Pro Shred of Raleigh, shredded almost 30 tons of paper at the two events including more than 18 tons in Chapel Hill and almost 11 tons in Hillsborough. Lines were long in Chapel Hill and we are striving for a more efficient event next October.
The new remodeled Walnut Grove Solid Waste Convenience Center re-opened May 10 with all the former recycling and waste disposal services for county residents along with several new additions. Now the site also accepts hazardous household waste, food waste drop-off (the first residential food collection site in North Carolina), clothing and shoes, and plastic bags for recycling. Lumber has been added at the salvage shed. The site is now fully paved and uses low-loading-height compactors for trash and recycling. The old high-loading-height dumpsters have been replaced with convenient two-level loading for bulky and heavy items including brush, tires, white goods, scrap metal, bulky plastics and broken furniture. The county is planning to modernize the Eubanks Road Convenience Center next and include similar services.
The Town of Chapel Hill’s Sustainability Committee and the Orange County’s Commission for the Environment invite all interested Orange County residents to learn more about current waste management practices and to join us in a discussion of long-term waste management goals for the region. RSVP for May 30, Chapel Hill Public Library, Meeting Room B 6-8:30 p.m.
For more information, visit or call 919-969-5075. Light refreshments will be served.
Interested in volunteering for recycling at the Eno River Festival this year? In addition to 65 great musical acts supporting the Eno River, this is are the mother of local trash-free events You can be a trash-free site steward on July 4 or July 6 and gain free entry for that day. Shifts are three hours or less. Duties include monitoring recycling stations and educating attendee on the proper sorting and separating of trash. Like to drive or walk? You could also be a trash-fee collector: Shifts are three hours or less. Duties are walking and driving routes through the site to collect recyclables.
The Eno Festival diverts over 95 percent of refuse to recycling and compost programs operated by Orange County Solid Waste Management and Brooks Contractor. This phenomenal diversion rate is largely due to the annual outpouring of dedicated Trash-Free volunteers. Good humor and a willingness to get messy are a must. For more details on the Eno River Association’s "Trash Free" Festival call Christy at 919-620-9099, ext. 205, or email her at
The fifth annual Scrapel Hill trash art show opened April 29 at University Mall in Chapel Hill and will be up through Aug. 23. Local and regional artists display a variety of two and three dimensional works made primarily from found objects and materials. Scrapel Hill is an ongoing partnership between the Town of Chapel Hill’s Public Arts and Cultural Arts Office and University Mall dedicated to making people think creatively about reuse.
It is a juried show. Gerald Bolas, Director of the Raleigh Arts Commission, and Linda Dougherty, Curator of Contemporary Art at the North Carolina Museum of Art reviewed the exhibiting artists and selected first place winner Jane Bergman of Chapel Hill for Eons of Evolution at $2,000, second place Steven Reinhardt for his Through a Woods at $1,000 and the interactive award went to Nuno Gomes for “A Junk Sampler’ at $500 . A $500 People’s Choice Award will be announced at a closing reception on August 23. You can vote at the show for your choice on your phone or via paper ballot.

The Orange County Landfill will close in 42 days.