Watching Our Wasteline: Recyling over the holidays

Nov. 14, 2013 @ 12:17 PM

Curbside recycling for both the urban (blue bin) and rural (orange bin) programs will not be collected on Nov. 28 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. 
The make-up day for Thanksgiving will be Nov. 30. Residents who would normally receive curbside recycling pickup on Nov. 28 should have their recycling bins at the curb by 7 a.m. Nov. 30, or put them out the night before. 
Solid Waste Convenience Centers and the Orange County Landfill will also be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Convenience Centers will all be open regular hours Nov. 29. The landfill will be closed Nov. 29. All associated services at the landfill, such as mulch sales and the Household Hazardous Waste Collections, will be closed those two days, as well. Regular Saturday hours of operation for the landfill will resume Nov. 30 from 8 a.m. to noon. Weekday hours will resume Dec. 2 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The administrative office at 1207 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill will be closed Nov. 28-29.
Residents can recycle any day of the week, any time of day, at the county’s 24-hour Recycling Drop-Off sites, which are available at the following locations:
-- Carrboro Plaza, behind the ABC store in Carrboro
-- Cedar Falls Park, off of Weaver Dairy Road in Chapel Hill
-- Hampton Pointe, behind the Home Depot, Highway 86 in Hillsborough
-- Meadowmont, behind the Harris Teeter in Chapel Hill
-- University Mall, on Estes Drive, across from A Southern Season, Chapel Hill
Please report an overflowing recycling site as opposed to leaving recycling items on the ground! Problems can be reported by calling (919) 968-2788 or send an email to recycling@orangecountync.gov. 

Limiting food waste
With all the upcoming winter holidays many of us will be celebrating with big feasts at home or out at restaurants or with family and friends.  After paper, food waste is the next biggest component of what is thrown out each year from Orange County, representing about 23  percent or almost 14,000 tons. Reducing food waste saves money and resources and reduces methane production from food rotting in landfills.  As we give thanks, think of ways to reduce our food waste. Try these tips:

-- Know your refrigerator inventory and when foods will expire; use your freezer to extend the life of unused foods. Check out the NRDC’s INFOGRAPHIC: The Refrigerator Demystified.  www.nrdc/food/files/dating-game-infographic.pdf
-- Avoid impulse food purchases. Check your fridge before shopping, write a list and stick to it!
-- Plan menus in advance and shop accordingly. Visit the “Love Food Hate Waste” PORTIONS GUIDE suitable for party food planning or for family sit-down meals. http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/portions/everyday.
-- Serve smaller portions. Using smaller serving utensils and plates can reduce the amount of food left on the plate. Diners can always request multiple helpings.
-- Donate unserved food. The IFC (ww.ifceb.org) and Orange Congregations in Mission (www.ocimnc.org) are dedicated to feeding our local hungry. They will always accept donations of canned and non-perishable foods. 
Frying a turkey? Recycle all used cooking oil at one of the county’s two drop-off sites – Orange County Landfill, 1514 Eubanks Road, during operating hours Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon, or Walnut Grove Church Road Sold Waste Convenience Center, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.  Can’t get to a center? Ask your favorite restaurant if they can recycle your used oil with theirs.
As the holiday gift-giving season approaches, many of us wonder “What should I give him/her/them?” Consider the So Kind Registry (http://sokindregistry.org) for not only holidays but weddings, birthdays or other gift giving occasions. The registry allows the gift recipient to specify items, or non-tangibles such as donating to a favorite charity, baked goods or cooking lessons from a favorite family member or friend, guitar lessons from a local teacher, or help with a resume … the possibilities are endless when the things you need aren’t things! 

Recycling talk
Orange County and the towns will discuss the future of local recycling programs at an Assembly of Governments meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Building, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. Interested in the future of our county’s recycling program and if we will continue to partner with the towns to provide integrated recycling programs? Hear what your elected officials have to say on the subject.

A new face
Orange County Solid Waste welcomes new Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Sustainability Coordinator Daniel Schnitzer to our area from Chicago where he was most recently director of sustainability and operations for an environmentally focused Chicago public elementary school, the Academy for Global Citizenship (www.agcchicago.org). Schnitzer began his new job here last month. He writes: “My role is to continue to develop and streamline environmentally sustainable practices throughout the district, from the operational and school based levels. The goals are to minimize our negative impact in the environment, maximize our positive regenerative impact in a cost-neutral or advantageous way. I am here with a passion for sustainable food, education and operation.” Reach him at (919) 967-8211, ext. 28322 or  dschnitzer@chccs.k12.nc.us.

Recycle more cartons 
Orange County, in conjunction with Whole Foods and support from the Carton Council, held two promotional events Oct. 27-28 at Whole Foods Market in Chapel Hill to educate shoppers about the recyclability of all types of paper cartons for juice, milk, soup, pumpkin puree, etc., in all of Orange County’s recycling programs. More than 130 people took the pledge to recycle more cartons. Watch for more carton recycling promotional events later this year, coming after Thanksgiving to a Weaver Street Market near you.